Saturday, April 29, 2017

TechRadar Apple AR Summary

I have no idea if Apple is doing this or not (neither do they, although Apple talks about it a bit.) The "possible" timeline -- I think not, unless it's through the screen of the phone.
It's an interesting summary.


What is it? A new Apple wearable, a pair of glasses making use of augmented reality tech.

When is it out? No fixed date, but a reveal as early as summer 2017 is possible.

What will it cost? Based on Snap Spectacles pricing, anything from $130/ £105/ AU$170 and upwards - but anything ten times as costly could be possible depending on Apple’s final configuration.

Why would Apple make AR glasses?

CAPITALISM. Those shareholders’ appetites for mansions and swimming pools won’t be sated!

But on a serious note, Apple’s in need of a new product category. The last time Apple launched an inarguably successful new product line was the iPad – and even that has proved difficult to maintain momentum in. AR is an exciting new area, and one in which Apple (at least in hardware terms) wouldn’t have huge competition in, at least in the present.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

If Iovine has his way, Apple’s foray into video programming will be the start of another episode of world domination.

Mobile Video is coming.... everyone wants in on it. Wonder what they know.


I recommend the entire article at BusinessWeek

Like many tech companies, Apple long resisted getting into the content game, opting instead to sell other people’s music, TV shows, and movies and making money flogging hardware. Then Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. started producing award-winning television, and Silicon Valley smelled opportunity. Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube is funding dozens of TV shows for a subscription service and has built production facilities around the world. Facebook Inc. is starting to fund original video series. Even Twitter Inc. is buying the rights to sporting events. The tech companies mostly see entertainment as a good way to sell other products, whether toilet paper on Amazon or ads on Google.
Apple was among the first to use content to sell hardware. Steve Jobs, a passionate music fan, sold 99¢ songs to popularize first the iPod, then the iPhone. Yet his initial bet that consumers wanted to own the music and video they paid for was wrong; turns out people are fine just streaming it. So in 2014, Apple paid $3 billion for Beats Electronics, the headphones-and-streaming service company co-founded by Iovine and Dr. Dre. The goal wasn’t just to become less reliant on the iPhone, which generates almost $2 of every $3 of the company’s profits, but to make customers even more dependent on Apple gadgetry. The combination of iTunes, Apple Music, and a new TV app makes it harder for people to trade an iPhone for a Google Pixel or an Apple TV for Amazon’s Fire TV.

Is there a problem with opportunities?

MicroVision represents a huge opportunity. They have exceptional technology that is applicable in multiple areas that have very significantly rising interest. 

Bigger screens:

Mobile computing has become increasingly powerful lately, reaching a saturation point with humanity, with little recent noteworthy innovation -- but the demand is always there for a larger screen size. MicroVision answers that.

Touch interactive Bigger screens. (need we really say more?)

Near Eye Displays:
Near-eye displays are up and coming as various companies are working on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices. (Microsoft with Hololens, Google with Google Glass, Facebook with Oculus Rift [ Valued by Facebook at purchase for $2 Billion ], Samsung with their Virtual Reality, Sony with VR for Playstation, Apple with their purchase of Metaio,  Meta, Vuzix, Osterhaut, etc.

Given how good the antique MicroVision Nomad looked next to some of these rivals, MicroVision will be well positioned here as well.


3D Scanning:

Self-driving cars, 3D printing, Maneuvering Robots, etc. There's a lot of buzz about this.
  • MicroVision recently started partnering with the world's leading maker of little electronic things - ST Microelectronics
  • They recently highlighted cooperation with Intel in making products
  • They have an order for an engine from a Chinese smartphone company. 
  • They have recent hires who are noteworthy people from the industry.
  • People rave about products with PicoP inside.
The big problem with big opportunities is impatience and hype. 

This is an opportunity in process... Microvision's technology answers a lot of current market demands.

I have never been more confident about where the company is and where its going.

Hololens passes impact tests

Still processing the CC --- in the mean time... 

Hololense is apparently okay as safety glasses...  Hugely important consideration for something that will have industrial uses.


Windows Blog / Microsoft

Microsoft HoloLens passes basic impact tests for protective eyewear standards in North America and Europe

Additionally, to the benefit of our manufacturing customers, we are thrilled to share that Microsoft HoloLens has passed the basic impact tests from a number of protective eyewear standards used in North America and Europe. It has been tested and found to conform to the basic impact protection requirements of ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and EN 166, the most common protective glass certification standards. This opens the door for more companies to use HoloLens in innovative ways as part of their manufacturing process and for employees to unlock new personal potential, and we can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future! Find out more about HoloLens in manufacturing here.

Press Release - Quarterly Report


MicroVision Announces First Quarter 2017 Results; In March 2017 Company Received a $6.7 Million Order for Its Small Form Factor Display Engine for a Smartphone Manufacturer


In April 2017 the company also signed a $24 million contract with a leading technology company


REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 27, 2017-- MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS), a leader in innovative ultra-miniature projection display and sensing technology, today announced its financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2017.
MicroVision received a $6.7 million order in March 2017 for its small form factor display engine for a customer in Asia that plans to embed these engines in a smartphone. The company expects to begin shipping engines to this customer early in the third quarter of this year. This display engine is part of MicroVision’s engine line of business, which includes two additional scanning engines for interactivity and 3D LiDAR sensing that are scheduled for commercial availability later in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
MicroVision also announced in April 2017 that it has been awarded a development and supply contract for a laser beam scanning (LBS) system by a leading technology company. Under this agreement, MicroVision would develop a new generation of MEMS1, ASICs2 and related firmware for a high resolution, LBS-based product the technology company is planning to produce. MicroVision would receive up to $24 million including $14 million in fees for development work that is expected to span 21 months and an upfront payment for other items. The development fees would be paid contingent on completion of milestones in 2017 and 2018. This contract was awarded in the second quarter and is not reflected at all in the first quarter financial results.
The following financial results are for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2016. 

  • Revenue was $792,000 compared to $3.7 million one year ago. 
  • Operating loss was $5.6 million, compared to a loss of $3.6 million for the same quarter one year ago. 
  • Net loss was $5.6 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to a loss of $3.6 million, or $0.07 per share for the same quarter one year ago. 
  • In the first quarter 2017 cash used in operations was $6.7 million compared to $3.0 million for the same period in 2016. 

As of March 31, 2017 backlog was $8.5 million and cash and cash equivalents were $7.7 million.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

If you licensed electronic products.....

If you could choose a single company, who would you want to license them to?

Many would say "Apple" because it's a premium brand for mobile devices.

I would say "Intel." 

Intel is everywhere.

The Intel Joule Compute Module is helping bring MicroVision’s new short throw interactive display engine to life. As a complementary solution to MicroVision’s PicoP® scanning engine, the Intel Joule module generates the processing power needed to run interactivity algorithms for next-generation, “beyond the screen” devices.


Modems, Memory, Processors, Servers, PC's, Boards, Processors, Miniature systems, etc.

As the internet of things gets started, small displays are going with the processors and connected devices that are going to be everywhere.


No better place to be.


Everywhere means EVERYWHERE.

They're in SHOES from Xiaomi

Intel Home Page (check the "products" heading on the top left and browse.)

So, when Microvision writes something up and highlights how Intel and Microvision products are working together... pay very close attention.

Microvision and Intel

Monday, April 24, 2017

Intel and Microvision

Well, this takes a lot off the threat board. (If you thought Intel was a threat to Microvision.)

And this puts a lot of fuel in the rocket!

Microvision is in the right place, at the right time, with the right technology working with the right partners.



April 21st, 2017

By Mike Naldrett, MicroVision, Inc.

The Intel® Joule™ System on Module has features honed for the small form factor market that lend size, weight and power consumption benefits to projected display, interactivity with projected images, and 3D sensing.

Today’s musts for personal electronics pack a great deal of punch into otherwise small packages. Among these necessities is the desire for mobility and the availability of devices that are not only smart and sleek, but portable. On-the-go lifestyles are requiring technology component manufacturers to focus more and more on small form factor product design.

*****

Enabling Innovation
In the development of the PSE-0403 small form factor display engine and PSE-0403sti short throw interactive display engine, MicroVision recognized that combining these engines with other specialized small form factor solutions, such as the Intel™ Joule™ compute module, can enable new, compelling products that can be rapidly brought to market.

The Intel Joule Compute Module is helping bring MicroVision’s new short throw interactive display engine to life. As a complementary solution to MicroVision’s PicoP® scanning engine, the Intel Joule module generates the processing power needed to run interactivity algorithms for next-generation, “beyond the screen” devices.

In going beyond the screen, developers can implement touchless gesture capabilities in consumer-facing applications like speakers, light fixtures, security alarms, or even robot assistants and other artificial intelligence devices. These combined gesture recognition and projected display technologies enable products that boast a natural user interface—eliminating the need for an LCD screen while offering extreme portability.

*****

The same types of features can also be deployed in commercial settings. Virtual touchscreens in restaurants (Figure 3) could streamline the dining process and add entertainment value to the dining out experience, ranging from on-table menu selection and bill pay to on-demand games and other activities.

The same processing power that the Intel Joule Compute Module can provide for interactivity algorithms could also be used to enable other features, such as voice recognition and artificial intelligence. With the ability to introduce other sensor data as well, the platform opens up a wide variety of potential applications. Smart thermostats, home automation, and security centers are just a few among many possibilities. As these features are critical in the development of smart home solutions and accessories, it’s easy to see how the combination of this powerful system on module from Intel and MicroVision’s compact projection display modules can enable new and exciting applications across the growing smart home market, which is expected to reach more than $30 billion and a household penetration rate of over 60 percent by 2021.

With programs like its Developers Zone and tools like the Joule module, Intel is successfully linking inventors with suppliers of key-enabling technologies that foster new, forward-looking innovations. MicroVision is excited to be part of an ecosystem of new technologies for future-ready products in the world of mobility and IoT.

Intel Joule Compute Module

Thanks Kevin Watson

This was posted a long time ago, it is still awesome.

Enjoy it again!


Thysenkrup -- timelines

After a burst of interesting stuff in the last couple of weeks. I haven't been seeing a lot of stuff I can share.... The department of dot-connecting is working on some amazing things however.

The utility of devices produced by Microvision's target markets is always something to pay attention to. Reports from Thyssenkrupp continue.

Last week one of the representatives of STM I spoke to told me in some detail how the transition from prototype to mass production is accelerating very rapidly. When it used to be 18-24 months to get a product from prototype to mass production they are now able to pull that off in six months. (He did tell me though that to make a single batch of some MEMS that the fastest they can be produced is 60-120 days -- simply because of the chemical processes involved that can not be rushed. -- I take that to mean that it happens at the speed of chemistry, not at the speed of human will, and that new technology can't really rush it.)

When industry is pulling on certain technologies and they're eager to purchase it and apply it -- the timelines can be moved forward to an as fast as possible timeline. 

(...and we all know that computer companies are willing to produce and sell things that will be obsolete in a few months because better technology follows it. They made ridiculous money doing that in the 1980's and 1990's and it would be kind of fun to be riding that kind of wave again.)


Thyssenkrupp

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator, commented: “New realities demand new solutions and thyssenkrupp sees HoloLens as an enabler in transforming the customer experience for home solutions and helping to ensure a continued quality of life for ageing populations, regardless of their mobility restrictions.”
thyssenkrupp has already applied this new process in over 100 customer homes in Holland, Spain, and Germany with very positive results and client feedback, and will soon roll out the use of HoloLens in its home solutions throughout Germany.
IoT and mixed reality technologies are critical success factors for companies that aim to digitally transform their businesses. With the integration of Microsoft HoloLens and home mobility solutions thyssenkrupp is the frontrunner in the industry and shows how to address the challenges of an aging society by using intelligent technologies,” says Sabine Bendiek, Area Vice President Microsoft Germany.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why has Foxconn been pushing Sharp?

This is a great summary of questions.

It does make me wonder if Foxconn is going to do to Apple what Apple has done to some of its suppliers. If that's the case, the next iPhone could experience a very significant delay.

+ Softbank + Toshiba. (Was the effort to buy Toshiba an effort not so much to gain something for themselves, but to deny Apple?)

I highly recommend reading and re-reading this particular article. 

Like a good tension-filled TV series like 24, the story is one of the most fascinating in the tech sector to date with each episode building towards an end that we yet don't understand. The pieces of the story are purposely scrambled to keep us guessing.
Yet the one nagging question that keeps popping up is why has Foxconn pushing Sharp back into the smartphone business so aggressively?