Sony’s announcement on Thursday that it is developing a laser-based, high-definition, pocket-sized projector didn’t mention MicroVision until the third footnote — but that was one heck of a footnote.
Shares of MicroVision nearly doubled yesterday, to $2.67, as a result of this afterthought from Sony: “(3) Incorporates the PicoP technology developed by MicroVision, Inc.”
MicroVison’s shares are up another 7 percent in trading this morning.
The company, which has roots at the University of Washington, has been developing the PicoP technology for years, promising a new generation of ultraportable projection technology with applications including smartphone projection systems and vehicle windshields. But the company has struggled to find its footing, with its cash balance sitting at $8.32 million as of September, down from more than $43 million in 2009.
In the news release, the footnote is connected to a mention of the Sony projector’s MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) mirror system, but other than that, details of the Sony agreement are scarce. It’s not clear if this is simply a patent licensing agreement or a deeper partnership, or how much MicroVision expects to gain in revenue. We’ve contacted MicroVision for more information on the Sony deal.
In the meantime, here’s how Sony describes the technology it’s developing:
Sony Corporation today announced the development of a pico projector module equipped with Sony’s independently-developed image processing system, that uses laser beam scanning (LBS)(1) to realize crisp, beautiful high-definition resolution and “focus-free” projection, regardless of the distance or angle from the projection surface. By combining this module with Wi-Fi components and a battery, it can realize a compact, pocket-sized projector which can be used to project images from products such as smartphones or tablets, focus-free and in even higher resolution, on any flat or curved surface such as a wall or desk.
Last December, Microvision said it received a warning from the NASDAQ that it had fallen out of compliance with the stock market’s $50 million market value requirement, giving the company until June of this year to get back into compliance or risk delisting of its stock from the NASDAQ. Based on the surge over the past two days, MicroVision’s market value is more than $90 million.