Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Microvision: You Have Competition

I’m sure there will be many players in the Pico projection "standalone" space... 3M with LcoS and TI with DLP technologies.

However, no matter how you slice-it or dice-it, Microvision has, in my opinion, no competition in the laser based “embedded” Pico projection space... not TI… and certainly not 3M.

Microvision’s PicoP display engine could still lead the “standalone” rat pack because of the following:

• Small form factor that allows room to add additional built-in functionality. The competition starts-out big and can only get bigger.

• Power consumption will always be the differentiating factor. Two to three hours of use between battery charges is always more desirable than the ones that last an hour or less. Extra power pack(s) will make the Microvision's PicoP projector at par with competition... but there is a high probability that the user will opt for longer run on batteries. How often do you remember scrambling for a power pack when you need one?

• A wide angle view means that Microvision PicoP projector can show a wider screen at closer distance. This is a very important differentiation as compared to the “rest” in the market. With Microvision PicoP projector you get…

“A wider image [60 inch from 5 feet away, for example] from a close distance… the image is brighter and sharper… colors are more vibrant… and the image is always in focus”.
• Laser based Pico projectors will always have projected image in focus… regardless of the distance from the screen or mobility of the projector itself. Try focusing a projector every time you move [with the projector] or change the distance from the screen to change the size of the image.

• Microvision PicoP projector has better image quality and is sharper [per lumen] as compared to other projectors using “diffused” light sources the competition is using.  The use of diffused light source, like lamps or LED, causes the “torch effect”… where the image is brighter in the center with darker outside.

• Microvision’s PicoP projectors can go from 12inch to 150inch image size. None of the competitor has [so far] been able to match what Microvision is offering. We will soon find out what [else] Microvision has to “SHOW” at the CEATEC JAPAN 2009.

Microvision will be demonstrating several integrated product(s) at the CEATEC JAPAN and have signed-up a few major players to evaluate commercial PEKs, and has commercially launched the world’s first laser based PicoP projector SHOWwx on September 15th 2009. Competition, like 3M and TI, have their LED based Pico projectors on the market for over six months… but they are not selling too well… and their prices keep coming down almost every month.

However, it is just the begining of the 7-10 year Pico projector adoption cycle and the market is expected to take-off in 2010…

Competition is good and will help with faster adoption of the Pico projector by the billion plus unit market. To be a huge [financial] success, Microvision needs only a small percentage of the overall market that finally adopts the technology.

The first batch of many media reviews are starting to come-in from CEATEC JAPAN …


[Make sure to scroll down and watch the streaming video... it is just awesome!]

It is very interesting to see what the media from CEATEC JAPAN is saying…

Microvision's laser-based SHOW WX pico projector shines at CEATEC

“Microvision just struck a deal to start shipping its PicoP-based SHOW WX pico projector in Asia, and while the size may not blow any minds, the image quality just might. With a native 848 x 480 resolution (WVGA), this one pumps out more pixels than pretty much any other pico projector on the market today, and with enough darkness, it can actually spit out an image that's around 100-inches in size. We stopped by the company's booth here at CEATEC in order to have a look at what makes the world's first laser-based pico PJ so special, and we can honestly say the picture was pretty stunning (considering the device we're talking about). We got a lecture on just how amazing the innards actually are (hear for yourself after the break), but it's the estimated $500 price tag and 2010 US ship date that really had us intrigued.

The company also confessed that it's toiling away in an effort to miniaturize its PicoP engine even further, and while it wouldn't come right out and say it, we got the feeling that it was jonesing to get that very device into all sorts of other gizmos in the near future. In the meanwhile, you can expect the SHOW WX to ship with support for pretty much any input via a composite adapter, while an iPod / iPhone connector is apt to be bundled in as well. There's also a 3.5 millimeter audio passthrough, 10 lumens of brightness, a 60Hz refresh rate (trust us, the lines you see in the video aren't seen by the naked eye) and a built-in battery good for two hours on a charge. Oh, and this thing's ability to refocus instantly as you move it closer and farther from the wall is pretty swank -- just sayin'.”

There you have it!

My money is “still” on Microvision.  However, I am keeping an eye on the competition… including TI, 3M and Syndiant.  Microvision just raised the Pico bar for rest of the competition... some of them with billions in their war chest to fight another day.

However, today belongs to Microvision!

Anant Goel