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Karl Guttag

 
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  • TI's DLP Replaces Microvision In Pioneer Aftermarket Automotive HUD [View article]
    No, you are really stretching it to try and make an argument. They were so different that nobody was considering both for the same socket.
    Sep 5 06:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TI's DLP Replaces Microvision In Pioneer Aftermarket Automotive HUD [View article]
    Microvision's Investor Relations is claiming that the new announcement is with a different company than the $4.6M announcement.

    While I had information linking to the two, I can't refute Microvision's claim and I have submitted a correction to Seeking Alpha.
    Sep 5 04:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TI's DLP Replaces Microvision In Pioneer Aftermarket Automotive HUD [View article]
    Slight Correction,

    Among them no talk of money and no saying that this was a new design win [ in the September 4th release ] .
    Sep 5 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TI's DLP Replaces Microvision In Pioneer Aftermarket Automotive HUD [View article]
    Let me clarify.

    In the HUD case, they weren't being serious considered for the same socket. JVC-Kenwood was doing their own LCOS development and bought the silicon device from Syndiant (most if not all of this happened after I left Syndiant). Syndiant didn't have a device that was appropriate for HUD without JVC-Kenwood's LCOS assembly process so it couldn't be consideration for Pioneer.

    There was some market flurry back about 2010. Microvision had a big marketing budget. We liked to demo the Syndiant projectors side by side with the ShowWX because the Microvision looked so horrible.

    There was never a question of a customer making a serious decision to spend 5X more for the Microvision projector engine versus an LED LCOS engine that was brighter, took less power, and had a much better image. Companies like 3M and Phillips that used Syndiant's LCOS, never seriously considered Microvision (the lasers alone cost more than the whole bill of material).
    Sep 5 01:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TI's DLP Replaces Microvision In Pioneer Aftermarket Automotive HUD [View article]
    I have no reason to believe that Sony is "the company."

    There are many "dots" connecting the April 3rd and September 4th releases. Among them no talk of money and no saying that this was a new design win.
    Sep 5 09:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TI's DLP Replaces Microvision In Pioneer Aftermarket Automotive HUD [View article]
    It is totally fair to question my involvement. Syndiant and Microvision were never really competitors as in being seriously considered for the same socket. It never came down to Microvision's laser scanning or Syndiant's LCOS. Syndiant's main competitors were Himax and Displaytech/Micron.

    Microvision's design was vastly more expensive and the image quality was simply terrible. Mostly R&D people played around with Microvision due to the "focus free" whereas Syndiant was trying for a mass market product.

    After I left, JVC-Kenwood did a HUD using Syndiant's silicon and JVC-Kenwood's LCOS manufacturing while Pioneer did a HUD design with Microvision. Both devices were very expensive and so the cost of the projector was not significant. Neither design has sold very many units.

    I just happened to learn a lot about Microvision and laser beam scanning in the process. It is not an "axe to grind" but I find that Microvision has a tendency to mislead people.
    Sep 5 09:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    It's now public, Pioneer has just announce their new aftermarket HUD product using DLP (and not Microvision).

    http://engt.co/15DgXQb

    Pioneer's NavGate HUD uses a Digital Light Processor (DLP) projector for high contrast and deep colour saturation, creating a 30-inch display, sitting approximately 3 metres in front of the driver. The projector displays location information as a natural part of the landscape for more intuitive driving.
    Sep 4 09:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    Let me be clear. Pioneer is currently selling in Japan an aftermarket HUD product with Microvision technology in it, but those sales are from built up inventory of Microvision engines. Pioneer is actively designing in different technology for a new HUD design.

    So as of now, Pioneer is still working on a HUD. My assumption would be that if that design works out we will be hearing about it around CES in January 2014 (the logical time to announce new products).
    Aug 30 10:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    Laser beam scanning it one of those technologies that "sells well" because it sounds like it should and be efficient and so simple but in reality there are a lot of complexities that lurk beneath a surface level understanding. Microvision has been selling the story for 20 years and many other companies have tried laser beam scanning (more than 20 companies have had at least R&D efforts).

    There are many problems both of physics and economics that have keep laser beam scanning from being practical. It starts with the Newtonian motion of the mirror and that it is constantly accelerating and decelerating and not going in a straight line, at least naturally.

    On an economics side, I don't think that there is a price for the green lasers that will both enable the laser makers to make a profit and not be ridiculously too expensive for a volume product. You basically have to count on the green laser makers to sell at a loss forever. There is just not enough potential volume to support having very low cost green lasers of the type that laser beam scanning needs.

    I have detailed some of the other technical issues with Microvision's laser beam scanning on my personal blog:
    http://bit.ly/13XOfz8
    Aug 27 10:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    I wanted to note that Microvision made a curious "announcement" yesterday Pioneer’s 2013 CYBER NAVI Uses MicroVision Technology to Project Augmented Reality (http://yhoo.it/13qfsu2 ). They were in effect re-announcing Pioneer's May 8, 2013 product announcement (http://bit.ly/1eP7HOf).

    I see this as a bad sign when a company re-announce old news as new news. From my experience, this trick usually causes a stock to jump up on the news and then drift down as people realize they are being "had" by old news as new news.

    This re-announcement in no way contradicts what I have written about Microvision having been designed out. The product design process happens many months before the product is introduced. A product announcement in May 2013 is a look back in HISTORY at what was DESIGNED into a product in 2012 or before.

    According to Mr. Tokman in the conference call the Pioneer after market program using Microvision has "completed." This would suggest that Pioneer's current products are from previously built inventory.

    What I wrote was "But according to my sources, Pioneer is working on a new aftermarket HUD using a different technology". The design work going on today is for production in 2014 and beyond.
    Aug 16 09:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    I haven't owned any TI stock in many years.
    Aug 14 12:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    Mr. Tokman is in a tough spot because if he really came clean it would kill the shareholder value. It is almost as if his duty to the current shareholders is to withhold has much as he can for as long as he can (which is what it looks to me like they do).

    As I wrote on my blog in back in December 2011 to which Microvision responded with their 8-K (see my blog http://bit.ly/16GSL0p), direct green lasers are not competitive as light sources. Unfortunately the prognosis is worse today than it was 1.5 years ago. The lasers are still extremely expensive and inefficient for the light they put out. Worse yet, you can't come up with a realistic price at a given brightness, that would drive a realistic volume.

    The market for embedding pico projectors in phones is DEAD period, full-stop (see my blog at http://bit.ly/14J41vF). With that market gone, there is nothing with sufficient market size to drive the volume.

    To quote Mr. Tokman in the last conference call, "And green laser has no application other than pico projection." This should scare the heck out of anyone that understands the high tech business and what it will take to make green lasers affordable. It just can't happen, you can't make the numbers work because there is no price and volume where it makes sense for the laser makers to build green lasers; the direct green laser makers have or will figure this out and focus on blue lasers for lighting.

    While MVIS has a huge patent portfolio, most of it is obsolete/worthless today as it cover’s their failed laser scanning technology (there is no licensing value on $0 in sales). There is a chance they have some “system patents” in the stack of patents that could be asserted against companies.

    The issue for any investor is that any new money the company raises will be burned up in operating Microvision including overpaying their executives, their very nice office space, parties, and marketing expenses, not to mention the huge expenses in filing and maintenance fees around the world on all their mostly worthless patents.

    My best guess is that they will eventually wind down and somebody (a patent assertion/"troll" company or one of the last investors) will get the patents for a song and the investors will be left holding a $500M+ bag. Whoever gets the patents will then go around and try to collect on any system patents.
    Aug 13 08:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    I disclosed that I used to work for Syndiant in the additional disclosures part of the article.

    Show me any objective analysis that shows that Microvision's does well in power efficiency, cost, or image quality. My personal blog http://www.kguttag.com has shown with measurements, photographs, and other technical information some of the many problems with Microvision's technology.

    In particular I would suggest you look at the following posts:
    http://bit.ly/13SFEMe

    http://bit.ly/13SFEMg

    http://bit.ly/13SFEMl

    http://bit.ly/13SFEMn
    Aug 12 10:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    To begin with crywolfe60, your "understanding" of how I left Syndiant is based on a lie.

    Microvision over a 20 year period has spent about $500M of investor money and somewhere on the order of $80M or more of taxpayer earmarks and has a market cap of about $55M. The stock price has fallen to about 5% of what it was in October 2009. After all this time and money, only one company, Pioneer, got a very low volume product to the consumer market and now even that one design win is gone.

    I think your anger at me is misplaced. Unfortunately for people such as yourself that have invested in Microvision, what I have written about Microvision's technology is true and you want to shoot the messenger.

    On my personal blog, http://www.kguttag.com I have shown measurements, photographs, and other technical information (too technical for a financial discussion) as to why Microvision's technology has done so poorly.

    Microvision has survived for 20 years having lost so much money by convincing new "investors" whom don't understand the technology that success is just around the corner "if only . . ". All I am doing is "pulling back the curtain" to reveal why they are failing.

    Aug 12 09:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microvision Second-Quarter Results Raise Questions On Role In Pioneer's Aftermarket HUD [View article]
    While I can understand some of your feelings, I was trying to translates for the less knowledgeable investor. Microvision has a history of over-blown "expectations" followed by blaming their suppliers and/or customers for misleading them or letting them down as they have done in the case with Pioneer.

    I can't imagine how Microvision doing good or bad would affect any company I am associated with, but I listed my companies for full disclosure. Some people think Microvision and Syndiant were direct competitors, but in my years at CTO at Syndiant, I don't think we were every seriously considered for the same "socket."
    Aug 9 03:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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