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MVIS Blog's Person of the Month for October 2004 is author, technology investing guru and editor-in-chief of the Gilder Technology Report, George Gilder.

Gilder has recently discovered Microvision and made it one of his top recommendations. The recent Telecosm conference in Lake Tahoe featured a presentation by Microvision CEO Rick Rutkowski as well as demonstration units of the Nomad and the MicroHUD. They were apparently well received.

A recent issue of the Gilder Technology Report was dedicated to the company: For Your Eyes Only

...Simplified third-generation systems are on the way. These systems use laser diodes for see-through systems and LEDs for look-around systems. See-through systems combine a Microvision-generated image with an ambient image (such as the real world). Look-around systems create the entire image that’s seen. The third-generation MEMS mirror is a low-cost, free-air version (rather than being an expensive vacuum package). Following the third-generation will be cost-reduced versions for consumer markets. Breakthrough volumes will come with further miniaturization and cost reduction of the mirror subsystem and of the optics that make Microvision’s image generators suitable for consumer applications in cell phones and in digital-camera viewfinders. One image generator for each eye could produce realistic 3D images for gaming, flight simulation, microsurgery, and other applications.

From a recent article by Gilder in the Money Show Digest: Gilder's Guide: Teleputers to MEMS:

These teleputers, which are all purpose devices, also all need a screen, which leads to my recommendation for Microvision (MVIS NASDAQ) The company is involved in MEMs – micro electronic machines. It makes heads-up displays, where tiny mirrors reflect directly onto the retina. That creates displays that are not only 100 times better in terms of contrast than ordinary flat top displays, but also are thousands of times more efficient in their use of power.

The Gilder Paradigm

In order to develop an investment strategy, a paradigm--a model of technology change--is indispensable. Some paradigms--such as the Gilder paradigm--are explicit and explained. Most investors, though, follow a technological paradigm without knowing it. They respond to a consensus about technology implicit in the media, which is driven by fashion rather than insight.

Within a consensus paradigm, large breakthroughs are impossible. If everyone expected the breakthrough, it would already inform the market. Shrinking from technology analysis, therefore, most investment letters seek little advances, incremental gains, picayune profits, excelling the Dow or Standard and Poor's by some modest margin. They seek new investment opportunities chiefly by running computer programs through databases of financial statistics.

Informed by a systematic vision of technological change, the Gilder team finds ascendant companies through legwork and technical acumen in laboratories, entrepreneurial offices, semiconductor clean rooms, optical engineering centers, and technological investigations around the globe.

...This next generation of paradigm players promises advances that will change the entire landscape of optical, electronic and computer technology. They will be the focus of the next few years of Gilder Technology Reports.

From his May 14, 2004 Friday Letter:

"MEMS-BASED DISPLAY. Yield is a problem for flat-panel displays. Your eye is good at detecting anomalies. I’ve got a laptop with a million-pixel display. It’s got three bad pixels. That makes 99.9997% of the pixels good, but I see the bad ones instantly. If one pixel is bad, the display is bad. This problem gets worse as the number of pixels rises. Also, the back of a camera is only so big, so, increasing the resolution of the micro display means cramming more pixels into the same area. Even if a 2-inch display held 1600x1200 pixels, your eye couldn’t resolve detail in the display’s image. Microvision (MVIS) has a solution to the flat panel’s yield and scaling problems. There is no screen. Instead, Microvision’s combination of optics and microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) uses a red laser as a source to send photons directly to your eye’s sensors." (Dynamic Silicon, June 2002)
More on Gilder and the teleputer.


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