Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Microvision: Pure Play on Green Laser & PicoP Projector Technology

In 2004, excluding diode lasers, approximately 131,000 lasers were sold worldwide, with a value of $2.19 billion. In the same year, approximately 733 million diode lasers, valued at $3.20 billion, were sold.

The broad based laser technology and its applications in so many industries are growing nicely. However, the green laser [diode laser] are the next hot technology play because of their potential application in the mega billion consumer Pico projectors [in billions] and Laser TVs [in tens of millions] markets.

Pico projectors are becoming a dime a dozen, with an array of companies, from established players like Optoma to toy maker WowWee, jumping on the bandwagon. Microvision’s SHOWwx is different: This PicoP projector uses laser light sources, which results in a wider color gamut and a picture that’s always in focus. At 4.3 ounces, it easily slips into a shirt pocket and lets road warriors beam nearly everything from photos and videos to PowerPoint slides onto virtually any surface.

Laser based Pico projector have un-disputed technological advantages over the competing DLP [from Texas Instruments] and LcoS [from3M] technology. In the laser based Pico projection market, Microvision is the dominant pure play on green laser, as well as, the Pico projectors for the mega billion dollars market.

It has been hard on the initial investors of Microvision when they purchased on speculation and pushed the MVIS stock to over $63 and then see it plummet down to less than a dollar in March of 2009. It is sad that many original investors of MVIS and the other who saw the huge potential of Pico projectors years ago are not being rewarded for their foresight. But that may change soon as the biggest milestone [the availability of green lasers] has been accomplished in the eventual introduction of laser based Pico projectors to the consumer market.

TI and 3M are both off to market with successful product launches in collaboration with their respective partners. But the market seems to not have embraced their Pico projectors with any enthusiasm. Research shows that initial buyers are few and mostly techies and technologically curious. This is a good sign for Microvision… because the six month [or so] delay in their introduction [in September] of the laser based PicoP projector has not adversely impacted its market position or perception of technology leadership in the Pico projection space. The competition has no technology, business or first to market advantage, so to speak, over Microvision.

Risk of MVIS stock ownership has greatly diminished as the company gains momentum with the recently announced commercial product launch of the world’s first laser PicoP projector. Several other aspects of Microvision’s technology have also advanced forward for the better during the last six months. To name a few advances:

• Pathway to higher lumen brightness for next generation PicoP display engines

• Patents on 3D PicoP projection technology

• R&D progress on High Definition PicoP display engines

• Reduction in power requirements of PicoP display engines

• See-through eyewear moves from helmet to glasses

• Development in PicoP display engine based portable cinema experience

The Corning and Microvision supply agreement under which Corning will supply its G-1000 [and G-2000] green lasers to Microvision accomplished a key milestone with the commercial launch of the world’s fist laser PicoP projector SHOWwx on September 15th, 2009.

As Microvision has become more of a pure green laser play, in addition to the laser PicoP projection technology, a more aggressive investment would be to buy both Microvision [MVIS] and Corning [GLW] stock, which would reflect a stellar upside of a successful green laser and laser based PicoP projection technology.

Eventually the success of green lasers [frequency doubled and the diode laser] will depend on its successful adoption by the PicoP projection market. If you were to look at some of the analyst and media projections, the future for both the green lasers and PicoP display engines looks bright.

Laser based PicoP display engine technology is superior to the technology of the early movers into the market… like TI with DLP/LED technology… 3M with LcoS/LED technology.

As someone from the media said…

“Pico projectors are becoming a dime a dozen, with an array of companies, from established players like Optoma to toy maker WowWee, jumping on the bandwagon. Microvision’s SHOWwx (priced between $400 and $500) is different: This Pico uses laser light sources, which results in a wider color gamut and a picture that’s always in focus. At 4.3 ounces, it easily slips into a shirt pocket and lets road warriors beam nearly everything from photos and videos to PowerPoint slides onto virtually any surface.”

Indeed, size isn’t everything. Ian Brown, vice president of sales and marketing for Microvision, said it is Microvision’s ease of use that will make it stand out in the growing Pico projector category.

“Anyone can create a product, but the question is if the experience delights users,” Brown said.

Anant Goel
http://www.wealthbyoptions.com/