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With a new CEO taking over, I've listened with great interest to how Perry Mulligan would position the company going forward. Microvision's new positioning has been established as "The IO of AI" which I think is an intriguing concept for sure.

The market leading AI platform is Amazon's Alexa service. When you think of an Amazon Echo speaker, its' utility really is to play music from services like Spotify, and also for smart home applications like turning on lights and things like this. Definitely fun and convenient. But for Amazon, which is of course a retailer above all else, this use case doesn't really enable their primary desire, which is to sell more goods to you.

If we could imagine the speaker to have an embedded interactive projection display, we could say something like "Alexa, show me golf shirts", which it could then project on the wall or tabletop, complete with a "touch to buy" button. Now, they could do this with an LCD touchscreen panel but that makes the whole device much larger, all the time. With Amazon's "Echo Show" product, you've basically got a 'Mom's TV in the kitchen' type of thing, which I don't think is what they really want.

I think Amazon's larger vision is to make the devices as inconspicuous as possible, so the AI service is just there, waiting for your command. An embedded interactive laser projector would allow the device to remain small and portable, and the display and interaction to be available on demand, without a big black square sitting there all the time that the display is not in use.

So, we know there is a battle royale in this space, primarily between Amazon, Google and Apple. My view is that Amazon would have the most to gain from adding interactive projection to their device, as it would make transacting on their AI platform much easier, and protect their leadership position in the space by co-opting the disruptive innovation of interactive projection.

Is this a realistic thing to expect?

In this article, Foxconn-Sharp is described as the sole manufacturer Amazon Echo devices

And as it turns out, Foxconn-Sharp also manufactures the Apple HomePod. (This article from 2016 identifies Taiwan's HTC as the Google Home speaker manufacturer.)

One week ago, Foxconn-Sharp describes establishing mass production of new, brighter green laser diodes to 6M units a year, beginning in October, with AI speaker projection displays mentioned as an "assumed application".

In the below presentation, we see the new MVIS CEO pretty boldly laying it on the line with the assertion that interactive display, embodied in the slide by the AI smart speaker application, will be the biggest contributor to 2019's "probable" revenue. "If it is easier to interact, it is easier to transact."

So, we will see. If it is indeed the case that the company's technology, the supply chain's readiness and product demand from a major player converge here, then something pretty unique may be getting ready to happen.











Sumitomo Electric self-identifies as the laser module supplier for Robohon

http://www.sei.co.jp/products/laser-module/

Utilizing the high-density packaging technology that we cultivated in the manufacture of optical communication devices, we developed a full-color laser module that houses three lasers: red, green, and blue, temperature control elements, and monitor PDs in an ultra-compact package. By providing a highly airtight cap seal and ensuring high reliability, it is expected to be applied to various applications such as pico projector, HUD, industrial light source, laser lighting and so on.

Our Products in Sharp's Robohon


Our ultra-compact full-color laser module was installed as a high-definition projector light source (equivalent to HD 1,280 × 720 pixels) in Sharp's mobile robot phone "ROBOHON" released in May 2016. With our high-density packaging technology, it is now possible to mount a laser projector in a small space of ROBOHON head (45 mm).
Robohorn
Robohon
Application example of laser projector
Application example of laser projector






HTF MI recently introduced new title on “Asia-Pacific Green Laser Diode Market Report 2018” from its database. The report provides study with in-depth overview, describing about the Product / Industry Scope and elaborates market outlook and status to 2025. 

Asia-Pacific Green Laser Diode market competition by top manufacturers/players, with Green Laser Diode sales volume, price, revenue (Million USD) and market share for each manufacturer/player; the top players including

OSRAM
Coherent
IPG
Sharp Corporation
Sumitomo
Panasonic
Hamamatsu Photonics K.K
JDS Uniphase Corp
Jenoptik AG
Newport
Rofin-sinar Technologies,Inc
Finisar
Avago Technologies
Nichia
Laser Components

On the basis on the end users/applications, this report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, sales volume, market share and growth rate for each application, including:
Heads-Up Display
Head-Mounted Display
Projectors
Smartphones
Others


Sharp raises the output of the green laser more than 4 times, realizing a bright projector


Assumed application to AI speaker, HUD, HMD

Nozawa Tetsuo = Nikkei x TECH / Nikkei Electronics

 Sharp announced that it will mass-produce in October 2018, developing an output 130 mW semiconductor laser device that emits green light (wavelength 520 nm) without using a fluorescent material. It is the first time for the company to emit green light with an output exceeding 100 mW, "the highest level in the industry with single mode products (beam shape is round)" (the company).
 Sharp announced a green light emitting semiconductor laser device in October 2017, but the wavelength was slightly bluish at 515 nm, and the output was 30 mW. This time, it increased the light output to more than 4 times and at the same time increased the purity of green. The threshold current is 100 mA. The operating current is 300 mA as standard, and the operating voltage is 6.8 V. The efficiency when converting input power to light is assumed to be 6.37%. The beam divergence angle is parallel and 7 degrees standard, vertical and 22.5 degrees same.
Sharp's new and old green light emitting laser comparison demonstration
Right newly developed wavelength of 520 nm, 130 mW output product. The left is an existing element with a wavelength of 515 nm and an output of 30 mW. You can see that the left is slightly bluish.
[Click on image to enlarge]
 The green laser device to be newly mass-produced is "GH 0521DA 2 G" of diameter (Φ) 5.6 mm TO-CAN type and "GH 0521 DA 5 G" of Φ 3.8 TO-CAN type. Both sample prices are tax included and 10,800 yen. Sample shipment in early August 2018, start mass production in early October. The mass production scale is assumed to be 500,000 pieces per month.



I learned today that Gary Peterson passed away. Gary was one of the best people I ever met. I learned so much from him and I will miss him. Gary was a man with wisdom, a generous spirit and a lot of compassion. I'll never forget our road trips and our conversations.

Gary's contributions to MVIS were monumental and Gary was really instrumental in so much of the significant work that MVIS did.

Gary was a great family man, an amazing cyclist, and a mentor and an example to follow in so many ways. He made every situation better just by being there.

I had just found Gary's business card in my suit jacket a couple weeks ago. Wish I had called him then. All my love to Gary, Rodeen and their family. A wonderful guy who will be deeply missed.

Thanks All!



It's been about six months now since I've updated this blog...which means it's fair to say that my plan to keep blogging about MVIS hasn't really materialized.

Between my new job (Senior Product Manager for eBay), chasing my kids around, spending time with my wife, and trying to keep working on music, there's not a lot of time left to write here.

So, it's probably time now to pull the curtain on this blog that I started all the way back in 2004. Over all that time, I've met a lot of people through writing this blog, some virtually, some actually, and made some good friends through the process, especially many of my former colleagues at the company.

I wish everyone all the best in their pursuit of truly extraordinary opportunities, wherever you may find them.

Thanks to all,

Ben

Hi all,

Just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for continuing to read this blog over the last few years. It has been great to be able to communicate with all of you.

Last week my status with the company changed, and I'm no longer working for MicroVision. Those of you who have read this blog for a long time will remember that the blog changed a fair bit once I got hired by the company. The frequency of posts dropped off and I didn't blog as much in my own voice -- I was mostly quoting and linking items I thought would be relevant or interesting.

Now that I am again external to the company, I hope to revitalize this blog and bring a fresh analysis of all things that pertain to MicroVision, and the accelerating future. I remain an advocate of the company and the technology and a believer in what MicroVision can accomplish.

Thanks again for sticking with me and I look forward to sharing the ride with all of you once more.

Best wishes,
Ben


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