Tech hopeful projects gadget success in 2 years

Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:01am EST
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By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Which Redmond, Washington-based technology company, its name starting with "Micro," is looking to make waves in the world of smartphones?

Located within miles of the Microsoft headquarters, a tiny company makes pico projectors that can beam video or images from a mobile device on to any surface irrespective of screen size.

Microvision Inc expects more consumer gadgets like smartphones and tablets to use its pico projectors by mid-2012, and hopes to turn in a profit within six months of the shift.

Currently the pico projectors are predominantly sold as standalone products. But the company aims to embed its projectors inside devices like phones, so that the gadget makers sell their devices with these projectors inside them. Embedded devices are expected to boost sales volumes.

Given the current progress and estimates from makers of the green laser -- a key component of Microvision projectors -- an embedded device would be commercially viable between end-2011 and mid-2012, Microvision CEO Alexander Tokman said in an interview.

Tokman, a former GE executive in his fifth year as CEO of Microvision, aims to get an embedded projector out by mid-2012 and believes this will be rapidly taken up by original equipment manufacturers.

"Our profitability starts about six months after we introduce the first embedded projector inside a smartphone or other device, where we can get volumes of a million or more," he told Reuters.

Founded in 1993, Microvision -- whose rivals include Texas Instruments and privately held Light Blue Optics -- is valued at just over $150 million and has racked up more than twice that amount in net losses since it began.   Continued...