Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Report from CES #2

Very long day and quite tired. 

The scale of the show is staggering. You walk across a room that is bigger than a football field, and think you've gotten to the end, and it opens up into another room just that big.... and again.

I looked at the Celluon booth three times today. The conditions for showing the projector weren't optimal. The area was quite bright. If they made the picture really big (say projector five feet from the screen, it was a little dim, but still sufficient for their guy to be playing video games on it.)

The projector that was closer, making a 24-28" screen looked absolutely beautiful and clear even in the bright light.

People with "buyer" tags on their ID were there on a couple of occasions having long discussions with the head guy at the booth. I didn't have an opportunity to talk to him.

I spent the day looking at the ecosystem and opportunities for PicoP.

About 70% of what was there used screens in some capacity.... that's our niche. (don't over think it,  PicoP is a display -- a portable big screen with a very small, energy efficient form factor.)

Battery power: 

DON'T worry about better batteries or batteries being a hurdle to PicoP adoption. There was an acre of different companies with portable backup power solutions. Extra batteries, wireless charging -- there was even a camp stove that recharges portable devices.


There are a lot of projectors out there. (only a few laser projectors -- the others have a very large form factor, they're not portable.) Most of the small projectors out there are DLP, with LED lamps, and virtually all of those that I saw had fans and were plugged in, all were larger than Picopro. There will always be competition, but I think Microvision is well ahead of the competition -- for the applications they're targeting.

Themes where we can be great -- where will PicoP be synergistic & where can markets be targeted? I asked various presenters during the day "would this be easier to sell, could you sell more with an embedded projector?" -- answer was always yes.

1) supplementary sound. 

Many companies offer a variety of solutions for additional sound for portable devices. These can go hand in hand with pico projection. One of the best I saw was from Onanoff. They have a device they call the "sound cover." It's the best accessory sound device that had a portable form factor. Small enough to put in a pocket (or use an an accessory cover for Picopro) and it was able to be LOUD.

Another company offers directional speakers I didn't get to see them, but they sound very intriguing. -- that one is

2) Gaming

I saw many companies that offer various gaming accessories where PicoP would fit well. One of the coolest gaming devices is the Snail, which is a gaming device that is also a cellphone, and just looking at the screen it's 3D (really cool) putting a picop in that -- if they could make it duplicate the 3d effect would be positively stunning. (we'd never see the kids again.)

3) Multi-tasking with PC

More companies than I thought were offering various stands and clamps so people can be multi-screening a lot of the time. I could see PicoP performing this function without clamping a phone to your computer screen, or using a boom-arm to make an iPad hover in front of your face.

4) Displays for cameras and other "image capture" devices.

We've seen projectors on Sony cameras. There are a LOT of cameras out there, and being able to show what you just shot with one, whether it's a handy video camera, or any still image camera -- including a GoPro or GoPro like device will be wanted by the users. (Incidentally, there's huge competition for GoPro out there!!! And a lot of their competition looks really good.... Sony for example has a similar camera that records in 4K)

Additionally here, there were microscope, telescope and infrared camera companies. In each case, a large projected image could add a significant and interesting benefit, and add a lot of value for users.

5) Devices that gather and manipulate content -- but then rely on a screen. There's more here than can be fully discussed, but think video conferencing, streaming devices, android os devices that get plugged into televisions, or tiny self-contained PC computers. 

The environment for PicoP to be wildly successful is there. Everyone wants bigger screens, and everyone wants to carry their screen along with them....

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