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Heya



What's up everyone?

Well, we have made it through the first half of 2006. It wasn't exactly super fun but it is now history -- and we've got a lot to show for it, actually:

1. New CEO. It goes without saying that Tokman's elevation to CEO is the single most important thing that has happened to this company, this year, or any year.

2. New BOD. While the new BOD is still taking shape, we've been able to clear out some of the old guard and replace them with incredibly high-profile technology leaders like global supply chain guru Marc Onetto and IBM's leader of information management software, Jeanette Horan. Awesome.

3. New Strategy. The focus of the company is now clearly on obtaining development contracts/design wins for the Integrated Photonics Module in various configurations -- and at present that focus is squarely on PicoP and Automotive HUD. We know for sure that Bosch is developing HUDs based on the IPM. Audi has recently told the German auto press that they will be using laser scanning HUDs (of which Microvision is the only supplier). So, things sure look hot in Germany for Auto HUD.

As far as PicoP goes, here's what Tokman had to say about it in a recent interview:

"We are experiencing a strong market pull from global OEMs who are very interested in providing their customers with a portable handset containing an embedded projector to display and share information ranging from multimedia to business applications. Korea and Japan are on the forefront of this pull, Europe is next, followed by US.

With Microvision’s IPM embedded into devices such as cell phones or PDAs, the user gets an enriched visual experience and the projected image remains in focus at any distance. The image has brilliant, saturated colors, from spectrally-pure lasers that provide exceptional contrast, giving depth and texture to the image in a continuous and uniform non-pixilated display. This is the ultimate solution for providing a big image from a small package."

I had been thinking as I was writing this that I hadn't heard much about Color Eyewear since the business strategy update that the company gave in February. Then I remembered the company's most recent press release:

Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS), the leader in light scanning technologies for display and imaging products, announced today that it has recently received a $915,000 contract from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. The contract is to advance the development of a portable eyewear display.

"The work that will be performed under this contract is squarely within our strategic product path and will take us one step closer to a see-through display solution with a form factor of a pair of eye glasses," said Alexander Tokman, Microvision CEO.

So there is some momentum there as well.

4. New Management Team. The company has basically transplanted their leadership from GE Healthcare. (My wife commented to me a while back that the people at GE who are yet to be tagged by Tokman to come to Microvision have to be feeling a little left out of all the excitement...) Now we've got six sigma Blackbelts running Sales & Marketing, and Research & Product Development. These guys are methodical. They leave no stone unturned. They are obsessed with the customer.

What happens when six sigma Blackbelts with distinguished records at America's best run company come to work for a start-up with an incredible technology, and powerful market demand from global OEMs? We'll find out.

5. New Funding. The company has got somewhere around $30M in cash and 2.1M shares of LMRA. That gives us a seat at the table with these global OEMs as we negotiate contracts for integration of IPM into new products. That allows us to implement the strategy and direction that Tokman and the new management of the company want to pursue. It means we're still here and we're gonna be here.

6. New Developments in Light Sources and Infrastructure. In reference to the PicoP, Tokman mentioned: "The availability of the commercially viable green laser is a key enabler for this application and we are excited about the progress made by several green laser manufacturers over the past six months." Now the green laser is also a key component of the IPMs for HUD and Color Eyewear. Its significance can not be overstated. It is the key to viable commercial products that use Microvision's technology. It has been missing until just now. It's being built by multiple suppliers due to market demand for laser projection televisions, and one can venture to guess in response to business models based on the integration of laser projection displays into mobile devices.

So while the stock price has taken a hit, it is safe to say that this has been the most productive six months in the history of Microvision, in terms of dramatic upgrades in personnel, development and pursuit of coherent and actionable strategies and objectives, and progress commercializing the technology.

So that's where my head is at. It's tough to be down on paper on your investment. But it's great to know that we're still here, we're still building an amazing future and we're most definitely still going to change the world in a fundamental way.

1 comments:

At July 3, 2006 at 10:00 AM Anonymous said...

ya, it's been a tough ride down for many of us. even won a "beaten down stock of the week" award at candidcritic.com -- http://www.candidcritic.com/beaten-down-stock-pick-of-the-week-microvision-inc-mvis/2006/06/30/

 

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