12/27/2001 6:48:00 AM
<![CDATA[BOTHELL, Wash., Dec 27, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS)
today announced that it has delivered a prototype helmet-mounted display system
to The Boeing Company's Phantom Works facility in Seattle.
The prototype will be evaluated, along with other emerging technologies, for
potential use in future military aircraft, simulation systems and other Boeing
This shipment follows Microvision’s delivery and demonstration last month of a
Virtual Cockpit Display system to the U.S. Army under Phase III of the Virtual
Cockpit Optimization Program (VCOP). VCOP is an on-going development program in
which Microvision and Boeing are supporting the Army’s vision of how a virtual
cockpit would function.
The Army envisions high performance displays built into a pilot’s helmet can be
employed to create an electronically enhanced view of the battle space. With
VCOP as a standard issue helmet with a pair of full color, high-resolution
displays, the pilot sees the image through a wrap around optical system that
positions a pair of round lenses between the eyes and the helmet’s visor. An
integrated head tracker cues the software to present information for head-up and
head-down displays — including flight instruments, moving maps, targeting
information, and intelligence data — that will appear to be superimposed on the
aircraft instrument panel and on the real world scene outside of the aircraft.
The helmet features full stereoscopic optics and electronics (so that it can be
used for both two- and three-dimensional images) and resolution of more than 1
million full color pixels, and is designed for use with Boeing’s highly
sophisticated software. This software integrates real-time flight reference and
sensor data with planned mission parameters to provide the pilot with a valuable
tool to increase both combat effectiveness and flight safety.
“Microvision and Boeing envision that the virtual cockpit concept and its
variations could be used in helicopters that are currently in the design stage,
as well as in a variety of other existing military and commercial aircraft and
even in ground vehicles,” said Dr. Richard Edwards, manager of crew systems
technology at Boeing Phantom Works. “We’re extremely excited about our next
phase of application and integration development work with Microvision’s
display. The image quality of the display is outstanding and we are confident
that the display, integrated with our software, will be an important
demonstration tool for a variety of potential customers who require enhanced
visualization and navigation capabilities.”
The VCOP system offers the Army important technical and cost advantages, noted
Jack Clevenger, VCOP project manager for Microvision.
“Existing instruments can be hard to maintain, and, as new capabilities arise,
upgrading this hardware often requires replacing or re-wiring the cockpit,” he
said. “A virtual cockpit, however, is small, lightweight and can be readily
upgraded just by changing the software. We’ve seen estimates that the cost of
upgrading a VCOP system might be only one fifth that of upgrading all the
integrated software and supporting elements in an existing helicopter’s avionics
The Army has set stringent image quality and color performance requirements for
its next generation of rotorcraft helmet-mounted displays; performance standards
unattained by conventional display technologies, noted Clevenger. “We believe
that our laser based scanning display places Microvision in a unique position to
deliver a high performance yet cost-effective system solution that exceeds the
Army’s demanding requirements.”
The company envisions that the virtual cockpit concept and its variations could
be utilized in helicopters in the design stage, and in a variety of other
military and commercial aircraft and even in ground vehicles. The goal of the
VCOP system is an estimated average yearly procurement quantity of 500 systems
per year and an estimated total quantity of 3,000.
About Microvision: www.mvis.com
Headquartered in Bothell, Wash., Microvision Inc. is the developer of the
patented retinal scanning display technology and a world leader in micro
miniature optical scanning technology for display and imaging applications. The
company’s technology has applications in a broad range of military, medical,
industrial, professional and consumer information products.
Forward Looking Statement
The information set forth in this release includes “forward-looking statements”
within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. Certain
factors that realistically could cause results to differ materially from those
projected in the company’s forward-looking statements are set forth in the
company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Microvision Inc.
Matt Nichols, 425/415-6847 (Media)
Brian Heagler, 425/415-6847 (Investors)
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