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A long term view

It's difficult to maintain a sense of perspective about how things can change over a period of 5 to 10 years. Especially when you're invested in a tiny technology company with revolutionary potential -- watching the kettle boil can be extremely challenging.

Today's blowoff back to $7.90 from $8.54 could have been worse; it could have happened on Friday. Our market cap as of 5/28/04 was $183M. The Russell indexes are reconstituted based on the market caps of the top 3000 most valuable companies as of the last trading day in May. This site projects that the 2004 Russell 3000 cutoff will be $178M. If that is true then we will just squeak in by the hairs of our chin.

Inclusion in the 2004 Russell 3000 would force a whole bunch of passively managed funds to buy MVIS shares. So here's hoping that $183M is good enough to get in.

But, I diverge. It's tough to wait for the events to happen that I sense to be inevitable. But there will come a day when scanned beam display products become inexpensive, mass market devices.

If cheap green and blue lasers are still a few years off, and 'augmented reality' won't enter the mainstream lexicon for a while, how will Microvision bridge the gap between now and then? My guess -- occluded displays like the Electronic View Finder sponsored by Canon.

Now, I believe the company will have success with the Nomad Expert Technician System and that there is a large and ready market for the Nomad. But the sweet spot has to be in mass market, commercial products like digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones, PDAs, etc.

How close is Microvision to going live with the EVF for Canon? This PR from October 2003 has this to say:

"...Steve Willey, president of Microvision, stated, "We're very excited about winning this third phase agreement with Canon. It is a very significant milestone for the company and is evidence that industry giants such as Canon have completed basic evaluation of our proposed solutions and are willing to proceed with the purchase of prototypes. The recent design and process advances that we have made are very consistent with the market requirements for small, affordable, yet high-performance display solutions.

"We also believe that this next step by Canon is validation of our microdisplay product strategy to position Microvision as the 'premium microdisplay' provider. Our solutions offer image quality that is literally hundreds of percent higher than any competitive solution, offering our OEM partners the opportunity to develop new and compelling applications."

We are now 8 months in to the Phase III contract with Canon to supply pre-commercial prototypes. If we have been making good progress on these we should hear something by the end of the year.

What comes after the pre-commercial prototype phase?

The commercial rollout phase...


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