2/11/2002 6:46:00 AM
BOTHELL, Wash., Feb 11, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) — In its drive to commercialize a
miniature display that can meet the demanding mix of high performance and low
cost, Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS) today announced it has demonstrated a
fully-functional miniature display that uses just three light emitting diodes
(LEDs) coupled with a vibrating mirror on a tiny micromechanical chip.
As the user holds a cell-phone-like device near one eye, the tiny display scans
a single beam of multi-colored light through a small lens to project a
full-color video image of the apparent size and resolution of a notebook or
laptop display screen onto the eye. This prototype display represents a major
milestone for the company, which believes its unique display can add
functionality to such emerging consumer products as handheld wireless devices to
gaming systems, portable DVD players and digital cameras.
According to Russell Hannigan, Microvision’s director of business development
for advanced products, the unique display platform — with its combination of
high-resolution and bright vivid colors — could well become the industry
standard for personal displays.
“The annual production volumes for these types of consumer products can reach
into the hundreds of millions of units very quickly,” said Hannigan. “We believe
the market for miniature displays will grow to tens of millions of units over
the next several years, but consumers will want inexpensive devices like mobile
handsets and digital cameras to produce high quality images.”
The image quality of the Microvision prototype is exceptional, said Hannigan.
“We achieve full Super VGA (SVGA or 800 X 600 lines) resolution and have
measured contrast ratios up to 150:1. Color gamut and saturation are already
comparable with a very high quality CRT and we expect to see further
improvements in performance over the weeks ahead.”
SVGA resolution is an important baseline, said Hannigan, because so much content
on the Internet and elsewhere already exists in this format. With a display of a
lower resolution, the user must either reformat the content or do a lot of
scrolling to look at parts of the image at a time.
Low cost is the other technological advantage represented by the prototype. “We
can deliver higher image quality at lower prices than competing miniaturized
flat panel displays,” said Hannigan. “Hitting an acceptable price point is going
to be key to gaining and keeping share in the cost sensitive consumer
electronics space. Ultimately it’s all about pixels per penny.”
Dr Aris Silzars, president of the Society for Information Displays said, “This
achievement shows the power of Microvision’s unique MEMS scanning display
technology. I’m very impressed with the image quality. The technology offers the
emissive and unpixelated qualities that have allowed CRTs to dominate desktop
and television markets, while offering the potential of very low costs in a
sub-miniature package. I can’t wait to get a 3G cell phone with a Microvision
Microvision’s current demonstrator is a key step in developing a display
platform suitable for consumer applications. The company will spend the next 18
to 24 months reducing the size, weight, power consumption and, especially, cost
of the unique miniature display. The company is working with partners like
Taipei’s Walsin Lihwa Corp. to develop techniques to mass-produce the MEMS
scanner, and Cree, which produced the LED technology for the device.
“Partnering is a key part of our strategy for bringing this technology to
market,” added Hannigan. “We have some very strong technology partners, and we
are seeing growing interest from major players in the wireless world and in
consumer electronics for a variety of applications — an interest that I expect
will build even faster once we show our latest achievement.”
About Microvision: www.mvis.com
Headquartered in Bothell, WA, 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 (media)
Brian Heagler (investors), 425/415-6847
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