Remote controls for your life

Remote controls for your life

Worth a read. Service providers like Verizon are the gatekeepers for new mobile applications. MVIS will need to build something that the handset makers and service providers both see as unlocking the true profit potential of their networks. GPS enabled applications are the next big wave. These will morph into pervasive Augmented Reality services over the next few years.

SAN FRANCISCO - Forget voice calls. They're oh so retro. That cell phone in your pocket is well on its way to becoming a remote control for your life.

"Smart" handsets are already being used by busy executives to retrieve important documents from office computers halfway across the globe. They're handling e-mail, programming set-top boxes and keeping an eye on the home surveillance system.

Tourists lost in some foreign capitals can now, with a GPS-equipped cell phone, get their bearings using on-screen maps. Commuters crossing town can tap into the same tools to avoid traffic jams and reroute in mid-journey.

Millions of Japanese already use their handsets as digital wallets.

"The phone is rapidly becoming a window to the world," said Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group research firm. "In many ways it's becoming a replacement for the PC."

Cell phones have far outpaced personal digital assistants as the electronic device favored by consumers — 187.7 million people, or 65.4 percent of the U.S. population, own cell phones, according to the Yankee Group, which has stopped tracking sales of handheld computers that lack cellular connectivity, calling them irrelevant.

Software makers, keenly mindful of the trend, are coming up with new ways to lend mobile handsets some of the prime functions of a personal computer.

Phones that double and triple as digital music players, personal organizers and cameras are just the beginning.

A number of mobile applications making their debut at the DEMOfall conference, a showcase of tech innovation that begins Monday in Huntington Beach, Calif., point the way to a world where the cell phone is a key to greater efficiency.

Several companies have developed smartphone applications that leverage Global Positioning System technology, which pinpoint locations anywhere on Earth through satellite triangulation.

Last March, MapQuest and Nextel Communications launched the "Find Me" Service, which uses MapQuest's digital maps, on GPS-enabled mobile phones.

At the DEMO conference, MapQuest is expected to announce a similar service for the BlackBerry.

A rival company, Destinator Technologies Inc., is unveiling software for GPS-enabled smartphones and handhelds that automatically updates a route based on the device user's location.

The Destinator platform, which has been available in Europe for more than two years, also allows friends and colleagues to spot each other's locations on a map in relation to their ultimate destination and send directions via instant message.

Destinator also includes a real-time traffic-monitoring feature. Few U.S. companies aggregate traffic information but this is expected to change soon.

"We're going to automated-live navigation," said Jeff Kukowski, senior vice president of marketing. "Your printed directions from Yahoo or Google can't tell you how to get back on route."

The Destinator software takes the user's GPS location information and compares it to the planned route. Miss a turn, and the software offers up a revised route.

Adoption of all these new smartphone functions isn't widespread yet, probably because phone carriers such as Verizon, Cingular and Sprint make it difficult for customers to obtain services the carriers can't closely control and profit from, analysts say.

But smartphone makers are encouraging software companies to keep developing new applications that can drive sales, says Kevin Burden, program manager of Mobile Devices at research firm IDC.

"The makers are lawyers looking for a nice hook because the phones come at such a premium price tag," Burden said. "To sell these things, they have to offer more than a phone and e-mail."


  1. Their latest SEC filing has a little note that mentions one or more of their underlying patents is licensed from the U of Wash only through 2011. Hmmm...not the best news for us MVIS holders.

  2. ya! That's bad news.
    Amyways,will have to cope up with that until something attractive comes out.

    visit me at:

  3. uhhh, you guys are worried about license agreements that expire in 6 years?

    well if that's all we've got to worry about I'd say we're in great shape!

  4. uhhh, you guys are worried about license agreements that expire in 6 years?
    Yes, because If true then MVIS will be losing their exclusive use of the patents in 2011 and competition will invade their markets big time. IMHO despite your hopes for MVIS the commercial/consumer markets will just be starting to take off in that 2010-11 time frame. The technology in (2005) IMHO is just not small or price competitive yet to sell into the huge markets they are targeting. 2011? probably, but not exactly a great time to be losing your IP just when the markets are ready......

  5. I think you should communicate your concerns to MVIS IR -- they should be able to put a little bit of context around the relationship with UW as well as the significance of the UW patents in light of the many MVIS-developed and owned patents.

    I don't have enough depth on this issue to really do it justice.

  6. Ben, this guy is one of the trolls from Yahoo. Delete his comments and ban his URL. You pay for the bandwidth, not him, don't let them get a toe hold. Let him start his own blog if he wants to stir up shit. It's all nonsense anyway as UW will renew anything that needs to be reviewed and there's dozens and dozens of patents of mvis' that will go on for a lot longer than 6 years. Extensions are available on top of that. Nuke this asshole. Everyone will thank you for it.

  7. well, my inclination is not to just reflexively ban people who might be Yahoo trolls or whatever.

    I think the question of the UW/MVIS IP arrangement is worth asking and I'll admit that I don't know enough about it to really be able to contribute much to the discussion.

    that said, I disagree with some of the rest of the comments in question but I'm not going to delete comments just because I disagree with them.

    the only thing that really matters is business success. the rest of it is all noise. the only way to destroy all the trolls and bashers is to 'knock the cover off the ball' commercializing this technology.

    so far it hasn't happened. it is my hope that Tokman will oversee the transformation of Microvision into a world class business entity that we can all feel proud to own our piece of.


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