First is MVIS' interactive display. Here it is being demonstrated at CES 2020 where it won an award.

It is a MEMS laser scanning projector with lidar (3D sensing) built in. Both the projector and lidar use the same MEMS mirror. To project the image, a MEMS mirror scans an always in focus beam of light generated by just 3 laser diodes (RGB). The beam of light is rastered back and forth at incredible speed over a field of view.

To make the image interactive using lidar, a 4th laser diode (invisible IR) is added to the RGB beam along with a single photodetector. All 4 are scanned by the MEMS mirror into the desired field of view.

This product was expected to be launched in 2020 by a Tier 1 OEM, believed to be Amazon. On February 25, 2020, MVIS announced that the OEM decided not to launch in 2020 for unstated reasons. Considering the Covid-19 lockdowns that followed immediately, it seems likely that the delay/cancellation was related. Regardless, the company was forced to cut staff and explore other strategic alternatives and sources of cash for 2020. The share price crashed immediately to all-time lows.

The video above includes discussions of other current and near term applications of MVIS MEMS scanning technology, including consumer lidar and automotive lidar. These are described elsewhere as best in class in terms of range, resolution, lack of motion blur, ability to zoom in and out, etc.

They do not talk about AR or Hololens 2, likely due to NDA restrictions.

The video does not mention another MVIS product, an even tinier 720p laser projector based on the same technology that can be embedded into a smartphone. It was launched in a 3rd tier Chinese smartphone in 2017, the Voga V. The projector received excellent reviews but the phone was substandard and failed. Here it is in action

Look at the size of the image at time 2:30 and on. For reasons beyond my grasp, the major phone OEMS have not yet incorporated the technology though their patents often refer to it.

MVIS reported in 2018 that its new MEMS scanner and ASICs provide resolution up to 1440p at 120Hz. It is believed that this scanner is driving the Hololens 2 display.

Note, all scan lines in videos are not visible in person. They are a result of the refresh rates of the camera and projector not being synchronized.

Here is an article with some images of the previous MVIS MEMS scanner.

For a view of the the projector embedded in the Voga V, scroll down in this article.

My opinion: this company is a diamond in the rough with a depressed share price due to current circumstances (including facing a reverse split due to being below the Nasdaq minimum $1 bid price) and a very long (25 year) history of slow but steady technology development at the incredible cost of $600M-$1B which has worn down generations of now exhausted shareholders. It is facing short term cash needs and market disruptions aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am one of those long term shareholders, so I am obviously interested in the share price rising. Therefore, read this with that in mind.

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