Sharpening Microvision's Focus

Microvision (MVIS ), trading at 5.65 a share, may not stay a micro-cap for long. So say some investors who are excited by the company's miniaturized optical scanning-and-imaging technology--which has attracted Boeing, Canon, Johnson & Johnson, BMW, and medical-device maker Stryker. They are partners in developing new products--from displays mounted on the helmets of helicopter pilots to miniature opticals in digital cameras and wireless phones. CEO Richard Rutkowski explains that, in a digital camera, Microvision's scanner can provide a better full-color image in the viewfinder than can be seen on a laptop computer screen. He says this ability to show an image at its print resolution as a photographer snaps a picture will make it the digital camera of the future.

Sources say Microvision is set to sign an agreement with Canon for use of Microvision's technology. Paul Sethi of Vertical Ventures, which owns shares, says the company has yet to make money, but he sees sales rising to $18 million this year and $30 million in 2003. Sethi expects Microvision to post profits in 2004, with sales jumping to $50 million.

By Gene Marcial

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