MergerMarket Interview with Sumit Sharma

The Vision for Microvision

The following is excerpted from the October 2005 issue of the Gilder Technology Report, written by Nick Tredennick and Brion Shimamoto.

I first visited Microvision (MVIS) in 2001. I wrote about the company in the June 2002 issue of Dynamic Silicon and, again, in the July 2004 issue of the Gilder Technology Report. Whenever I visit the company, see its demonstrations, or think about its potential, I become enthusiastic about its opportunities. It always seems to have many more opportunities than it has the money to exploit and it always seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough. This time is no exception: I came away as enthusiastic as ever and just as sure that the company is on the verge of market success. The heart of Microvision's many opportunities is its MEMS mirror.

When I visited the company five years ago, we talked about head-up displays (HUDs) for the military, viewfinders for digital cameras, and barcode readers. At that time, the company struggled with expensive packaging for its scanning mirror and with the optics and light sources. Most of the development money came from the U.S. Army's support of projects to build head-mounted displays for helicopter pilots. Today, with MEMS packaging challenges resolved, Microvision's near-term opportunities now include a range of commercial and even consumer applications.

I expect Microvision's first breakout success will be in automotive HUDs. There's no alternative that can compete on cost or quality. The visual experience the MicroHUD delivers is in a class by itself, making it compelling despite the conservative and deliberate nature of automotive development.

Any of Microvision's systems will beat the competition in every category: cost, quality, compactness, power-efficiency, and versatility.

Comments

  1. I just read the October Gilder Report. There are six full pages about Microvision, the whole issue. This includes a discussion of each of the several market segments MVIS technology addresses. It's an excellent summary. I particularly appreciated the picture of the tiny "laser engine" sitting on a quarter.

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