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Head Worn Wearable Component & IP Suppliers - A Comparison (KOPN, HIMX, EMAN, MVIS, And Syndiant)

|Includes: EMAN, HIMX, Kopin Corporation (KOPN), MVIS

With the debate raging on Seeking Alpha as to which wearables microdisplay supplier will emerge as the winner, I decided to pull together what I could find and compare the obvious candidates. Please note that this comparison is based on publicly available information. For your review:

 

Kopin (NASDAQ:KOPN)

Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX)

Emagin (NYSEMKT:EMAN)

Microvision (NASDAQ:MVIS)

Syndiant

Public Company

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Wearable "Pure Play"

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Well Capitalized

Yes

Yes

No

No

Not disclosed

Display Technology Offered

Transmissive LCD & Reflective LCOS

Reflective LCOS

OLED

MEMS Scanner

Reflective LCOS

Custom IC/Backplane Expertise

LCD, LCOS, OLED, MEMS

LCOS

OLED

MEMS

LCOS

Proven Display Production Capability

+300K/month

+300K/month

Yield challenges

?

?

Shipping Untethered Headsets (In Volume - Feb. 2015)

Motorola/Zebra HC1, Recon Snow2, Oakley Airwave, Vuzix M100

0

0

0

Vuzix waveguide prototype?

Approved US Military Supplier

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Noise Cancellation/Speech IP

Hardware & Software

Hardware

No

No

No

Software Development Division (OS & Apps)

Yes (iOS, Android, Windows)

No

No

No

No

Licensable Wearable IP/Patents

Display, Speech, UI/UX, Ergonomics

Display-centric

Display-centric

Display-centric

Display-centric

A few points:

  • Qualitative measures above (such as "Pure Play" "Well Capitalized" are my personal opinion based on my interpretation of the market and published financials)
  • There will be more than one "winner" as I expect the head worn wearables market to be huge.
  • As an investor, I am looking for a "pure play" where each wearables optical engine sold or license dollar invoiced is directly accretive to earnings.
  • Supplying a superior display is not enough. Many of the products I expect to emerge will come from Fashion Brands (Oakley, Chanel, Ray Ban, Nike, etc.) and they will need a supplier who can offer the complete package: display module, speech enhancement, ergonomics, and software.
  • Rugged designs will be important for consumer and enterprise products so I have included US Military supplier status where durability is key and high quality volume production is required.
  • Production capability and capitalization will be important. Major customers will only do business with suppliers which are probable long term going concerns. Please review the balance sheets of the stocks noted above.

While some will no doubt take issue with one or two of the data points above, if you review the table objectively and combine it with some of the other material I have written on Seeking Alpha, I believe the optimal pure play stock becomes clear.

Disclosure: The author is long KOPN.