Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reflections - Microvision 2007 ASM

Microvision's annual 2007 meet was everything I expected and more. I didn't anticipate a huge turn out for this 250 million dollar micro cap. Sure they have received significant coverage as of late from the likes of The Wall Street Journal and Business Week, but to the bulk of Wall Street, Microvision Inc. is nearly transparent. This was exceedingly apparent as I signed in and received my shareholders pamphlet. Not many people in attendance. That being said, one could still sense the excitement contained within.

I started my tour at the Heads-Up Display(HUD), incidentally bypassing the RoV display completely. In its current form the HUD creates a 'laser pointer' image i.e. GPS, MPH and various logistic information is simply displayed into your field of vision in a vibrant red hue. I was told by the staff future generations will include color. The image was incredibly clear and interestingly remains in focus even if you look past it. Basically, reading and conceptualizing the information presented by HUD requires little effort on the part of the viewer. I eventually left the Heads-Up Display after the PicoP dark room caught my eye.

I walked into the dark room to find it teeming with enthused investors and engineers. It didn't take long for me to hone in on all the excitement. Centered in the room was a table with both of Microvision's prototypes PicoPs eloquently projecting crystal clear video footage of everyone's favorite Pixar fish. While the image clarity was nearly identical in the two prototypes, the latest generation, presented in wide angle WVGA resolution provided a superior viewing experience. Mind boggling to me, this all occurred in less than half a year and yet Microvision was able to maintain 1.5 W usage and nearly a 7mm package. Hmmm

Needless to say it was quite shocking seeing these projectors for the first time. I didn't really grasp it initially due to my fixated on the projection, but finally I looked down and realized just how minuscule these projectors are!

To me the speckling artifact was noticeable on both projections. However, a investor near me chimed in, "Hey nice water effect." An engineer laughed and quipped, "Actually that's an inherent artifact of the laser based scanning technology." He went on to describe the physics behind it, but I wouldn't do it justice attempting to transcribe it here. He also mentioned how they were currently working on dampening this effect by deceiving our eyes of its presence. Essentially, the artifact would remain, but we would have greater difficulty identifying it visually. Personally, the speckle effect isn't like a typical imaging artifact. Instead of distorting the image it merely creates a shimmering effect, that is if you focus on it. I found as I watched Nemo swim, the effect became less apparent as my eyes simply "looked through" the effect. In retrospect its rather difficult to qualify.

Due to time constraints I will end here. In conclusion I will say that this technology's potential is massive. Weather in the form of RoV, PicoP or HUD, Microvision's prototypes are years ahead of the nearest competitor with respect to power requirement, size, and image quality.

At this point I refuse to get into future profitability, margins etc. In time these will become an issue. Currently they are irrelevant. For now I am going to treat my investment in MVIS as a biotech investment, highly speculative with potential for astronomical gains. As long as MVIS and most importantly Tokman, continue to set and reach future mile stones, I believe shareholder appreciation will continue. On that note I will leave with several video clips from the meeting.



Comparision between January and May 2007s PicoP



Live action footage.



854x480



Yes it is THAT small.

5 comments:

Caffeinated said...

Outstanding post. Thanks!

Dinosaur Trader said...

Is the "speckling" those large lines that move from the bottom to the top of the screen?

Thanks for the post,

-DT

Paul said...

Dinosaur, no those lines were not even visible when looking at the projection in person. I think those lines are the frequency (hz) and are only visible, for some odd reason, if you're recording the video.

The speckle was not visible in the video. You also have to see it in person to see it and it is only visible on certain backgrounds. I took a piece of paper and placed it infront of the projector and the speckle was gone. It's really not a big deal, but it is hard to describe in words since I've never seen anything like it before.

CNL said...

Dino-

No the flashing line artifact has to do with the refreash rate of the screen. As Paul said the speckling is unlike anything I've ever seen before. You have to see it. I discribe it as more of a shimmering effect. Hence the one investor said "Nice water effect." While he was watching Nemo. Basically you have to see it to understand it. IMO the greater concern for the OEMs are power usage and size...and yes MVIS has this factors covered. Enjoy your investment.

Outgas Happens said...

And now its almost 2 years later. Whats changed? Are we any closer to having a product for sale?