U.S. Patent No. 7,959,308, issued on June 14, 2011 to Microvision, Inc. of Redmond, WA, discloses a display system that relays a generated image through an optical slab to be directed towards a viewing region.
According to the ’308 patent, an angle-mapped image is generated at one end of the optical slab by a scanned beam display engine (e.g., a MEMS scanner with one or more light sources), and the image is directed along the optical slab to be outputted at the viewing region located at another end of the optical slab. Such a system can be used in a variety of displays, such as heads-up displays, flat-panel displays, head-mounted or near-to-eye displays, or cell phone displays.
According to its website, Microvision provides a “proprietary display engine, called PicoP®” for use in “the telecommunications, consumer electronics, automotive, and avionics markets.” The PicoP® laser display engine uses “MicroVision’s proprietary single tiny vibrating MEMS silicon mirror to produce an image” which is then directed outward to a front or rear screen for projection display applications and is “small and low power enough to be embedded directly into devices such as smartphones, media players, camcorders and tablets.” MicroVision maintains a blog, providing information on the company’s technology, products, and services.
In its most recent annual report, the company touts its “extensive and highly-rated patent assets,” which includes a patent portfolio of 195 patents and applications directed to laser pico projection and displays purchased last October from Symbol Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Motorola, in exchange for 830,000 shares of MicroVision common stock and $550,000. According to the USPTO database, MicroVision was awarded 34 U.S. patents in 2010 (excluding those purchased from Symbol Tech.) and to date, has been awarded 32 U.S. patents in 2011.