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A laser image from Microvision's PicoP miniature laser projector is seen on the hand of one of its engineers, Josh Miller. The tiny unit is small enough to be embedded into cellphones, portable music players and gaming devices and will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Some of the Microvision team in Redmond that developed the PicoP projector test the unit. Clockwise from top right are Russell Hannigan, Doug Wade, Josh Miller, Jeff Johnson and Rob Stokes.

Josh Miller, a Microvision engineer, participates in the testing of the PicoP projector at the company's Redmond headquarters.

Photos by John Lok, Seattle Times

Playing the Consumer Electronics Show

By Benjamin J. Romano
Seattle Times technology reporter

The International Consumer Electronics Show, which officially begins today in Las Vegas, is at its heart a giant corporate marketing event, studded with bigwig speeches, technology demonstrations, rock concerts and dancing girls.

Companies as large as Microsoft and as small as 15-employee Lagotek, a Bellevue wireless home-automation startup, will vie for the attention of their target audiences — be it customers, media, industry analysts or would-be partners.

Some 2,700 companies are exhibiting to an anticipated 140,000 attendees, and the event is not open to the public.

Companies pursue a range of strategies to get what they want, and what they can afford, out of CES. There's everything from the spare-no-expense exhibitions of the major technology giants to quiet off-floor hotel suites where companies can show off proprietary technology and ink business deals.

Microvision module

Microvision's engineers plowed through the holidays to finish shrinking the lasers, mirrors and electronics in its prototype PicoP projector to a tiny module that could fit inside a mobile device such as a smart phone.

The idea is the ultracompact projector — Microvision says it's the size of a "thin mint" — would give people "a big-screen in your pocket" for viewing and sharing videos and photos stored on mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the Redmond company's business-development team was booking private meetings with key executives from major device manufacturers. Microvision opted to hold its meetings in a large room at the Embassy Suites where it can dim the lights to better demonstrate the PicoP and keep things confidential.

"A lot of the discussions we're having with people right now are under nondisclosure agreements," said Russell Hannigan, Microvision's director of business development for advanced products. "Also, in a private setting, we can control the environment better."


At January 8, 2007 at 8:50 AM Anonymous said...

I'm at CES this yr. Do you know where MVIS is showing this off ?


At January 8, 2007 at 10:02 AM Anonymous said...

Ben thanks for everything you do on this blog. You're our inside man!

At January 8, 2007 at 10:48 AM Lawrence said...

This is great Ben. Most of us can't be there and we are doing this vicariously through you. I appreciate your pictures and your notes about setting up. We all wish we were there helping set up and expriencing this. How does it feel being in the middle of your dream?

At January 8, 2007 at 1:11 PM Anonymous said...

the mvis technology is showcase at the Visteon booth and the Novalux booth i believe..-FL

At January 8, 2007 at 5:34 PM Anonymous said...

i read not positive comments regarding picture quality. I know in prior press releases, i'v read many compliments regarding the quality of the image, it is supposed to be better than anything else availabel on market. My questions why a different review?
Thank you
By the way congrats and thanks to you and all mvis employees working hard. Also awesome blog keep on bloggin..


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