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HoloLens 2 Teardown Reveals MicroVision MEMS Laser Scanning Display

Reddit user s2upid has performed a teardown on a HoloLens 2 and revealed the MicroVision MEMS Laser Scanning display modules inside. 

As a little bit of background...

In April 2017, Microsoft needed to create a generational performance leap for the new HoloLens. To achieve this, Microsoft undertook a development contract with a small technology company, and bet that the small company's unique display system, called MEMS Laser Scanning, could enable radical performance gains for the next generation HoloLens

Happily, the April 2017 development contract and the display that came from it was so successful that MEMS Laser Scanning was referred to as a "miracle" by Alex Kipman in this CNET article from the HoloLens 2 product launch in February 2019

The scope of the market opportunity made possible by this technology is well understood by Microsoft. While accepting a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for inventing the HoloLens 2, Kipman stated “I have no doubt that devices like this are going to be the pervasive way of interacting with technology. It's kind of inevitable. It feels obvious.” 

Indeed, since the launch of HoloLens 2 in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress 2019, Microsoft has continually touted the capabilities of the HoloLens 2 MEMS Laser Scanning display, in interviewstweets, and articlesdescribing its unique benefits such as wider field of view, smaller size and lower weight and power versus conventional fixed-pixel displays such as LCOS -- and continually claimed sole credit for its invention.  

In reality, the MEMS Laser Scanning display technology inside the HoloLens 2 is the invention and intellectual property of MicroVision (MVIS), Microsoft's partner and neighbor across town in Redmond, WA. MicroVision developed the display system for HoloLens 2 by leveraging their pioneering technology, IP and system engineering expertise in MEMS Laser Scanning, built over many years and at over $500 million in development costs.

At the same time that Microsoft was assuming sole credit in the media and with the public for the invention of the HoloLens 2 MEMS Laser Scanning display, it bound MicroVision through an NDA to disallow MicroVision from mentioning the customer, the end product or even the market vertical in which its technology is used. 

Microsoft's HoloLens 2 media campaign created the perception in the public's mind that MicroVision did not have anything to do with enabling the world's leading Mixed Reality product. This false perception has hurt the value of MicroVision and hampered its ability to raise operating capital, leading to negative effects to the company, its employees and shareholders. 

MicroVision is now a proven development partner, supplier and licensor to Microsoft, making HoloLens 2, and the larger Mixed Reality market opportunity possible. Now that the product is in the public domain and has been torn down to reveal the MicroVision MEMS Laser Scanning display modules inside, it's time for Microsoft to give credit where it is due and publicly acknowledge the essential contributions of MicroVision's patented technology to the HoloLens 2 product and to Microsoft's Mixed Reality strategy.


  1. Yes, Microsoft must acknowledge Microvision's contribution given their employee's misstatement last week that Microsoft owns all the IP in Hololens 2. Clearly, given this proof, that statement was false.

  2. why did they agree to sign unbelievably one-sided NDA in the first place? Did they have terrible negotiating/legal team? Lack of confidence in their product/abilities?


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