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Picopros Reviews the Latest HD Projector from Optoma: The ML550

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LuminAR Project Employs Microvision's PicoP® Technology

MIT students have created an augmented reality interface utilizing Microvision's PicoP® technology.  Specifically, they have configured it with both the PEK™ and ShowWX™. The picture you see is the variation using the PEK. Not only can this system project content, but it can recognize gestures as well.  We have seen variations of this concept presented in various forums, the most-famous of which is probably Pranav Mistry's Sixth Sense Project, which was presented at TED in November 2009.  In addition, at least two projects are active that are collaborations with Microsoft. PicoP® keeps popping up in many university projects due to its small size, use of lasers, and the fact that the image is always in focus - a particularly important feature for mobile applications.  In addition, Microvision's technology is capable of being employed for sensing/monitoring, as well as the standard projecting applications.  I think we will continue to see additional projects where Microvision's technology is being used.  Exciting times are ahead for sure!

 

Interesting Samsung Patent

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On May 18, 2010, the USPTO granted patent number 7,717,571 to Samsung Electronics. See http://bit.ly/9u5DVZ for the patent on the USPTO site. This patent covers the design of a device in which a pico projector can operate in two modes 1)The device essentially operates as a standard pico projector; and 2) the projector can be arranged such that the projection engine functions as the light source for the device’s main display. Moreover, it claims a device “wherein the light sources are laser diodes (LDs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).”

 

New Video of ShowWX on an Airplane

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Here is the latest video of someone using the Microvision ShowWX on an airplane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HeWgQqYDso It seems we will be seeing pico projectors being used just about everywhere in the near future.

 

New Motorola Patent Application Discusses Head-up Display (HUD) Apparatus

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On May 27th, 2010 the USPTO published a new Motorola patent application 20100127954 that discusses a Heads-up Display (HUD) apparatus. The document can be found here: http://bit.ly/auj0VF Essentially, this apparatus is a module that can be placed on an automobile dashboard to display various types of data for the driver to view. The data can be viewed on the apparatus' screen or optionally be projected onto the windshield of the vehicle (using a reflective film). It is interesting that Motorola is pursuing this type of device, as they have a development agreement with Microvision from 2007: http://bit.ly/ajba4q Microvision has a lot of Intellectual Property (IP) around the use of their PicoP display engine for Heads-up Displays. They have patented various concepts related to this application. Microvision has confirmed that this original partnership with Motorola is, in fact, still very active and plans to ship samples of the new embedded module to Motorola (via email from Investor Relations). I don't find it too surprising that Motorola has filed for many patents rwelated to pico projection for mobile devices. However, the fact that they are seeking IP related to HUDs is QUITE interesting to me. I have speculated that Motorola would be one of the primary suitors to acquire Microvision, due to the obvious synergies of any such deal. This newest patent application only adds more wood to that fire, in my mind. I am not saying any deal is imminent or even likely, but Motorola is on my short list of companies that make sense to pursue that course of action. Disclosure: As of this writing, the author was long shares of Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS)

 

IEEE Ranks Microvision #1 US Electronics Company for Patent Pipeline Power

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Microvision (NASDAQ: MVIS) has steadily risen in IEEE's rankings over the last few years as the company continues to bolster its core patent position related to display technology based on a single MEMS scanning mirror and lasers. Applications for the display engine include: portable projection, Heads-up Display (HUD) for automobiles, aerospace, etc., and Head-mounted Displays (HMD) for military and commercial use. It will be interesting to watch how the company leverages its IP over the next 3-5 years. Will they pursue a licensing route for the HUD and HMD products, or will they attempt to commercialize products themselves. So far, Microvision's history of bringing products to market has not been great. Hopefully, the ShowWX pico projector changes that trend. I am betting it does. Disclosure: As of this writing, the author was long shares of Microvision.