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Excerpted from the Gilder Technology Report subscriber-only message board.

GTR Subscriber (11/04/05): I have been following a small company called eMagin (EMA) for a while now. Are they in competition with Microvision (MVIS)? Is their technology the same?

George Gilder (11/04/05): eMagin (EMA) manufactures organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays that have many virtues including low power and robustness compared to the liquid crystal displays that dominate the industry. But OLEDs entail a full display substrate containing an emitter for every one of millions of pixels. Microvision (MVIS) has a patented breakthrough system (155 patents) that writes the image directly on the retina from a single mirror alone that runs at microwatts of power. There is no comparison. Microvision's system is faster, cooler, far lower power, higher resolution and possibly immersive 3D as well. But Microvision has not yet launched its advanced products in consumer volumes, so OLEDs may encroach on the LCD market for a few years, chiefly at the high end and harsh environment niche (high and low temperature operation for the military and space). However, LCDs have proven manufacturable at tremendous volumes in huge sizes and will probably prevail in most physical screen applications for some time to come. In cell phones, there are alternatives. Qualcomm has recently purchased a very low power screen that reflects incident light, even outdoors, with high resolution and contrast and might take some of the markets targeted by OLEDs. But Microvision bypasses all these physical screen systems by delivering the image directly to the eye or projecting it in a variety of ingenious ways. In my view, its key advantage is orders of magnitude lower power. It is the best way drastically to expand batterlife while improving the image.


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