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viewVuzix Corporation

Vuzix looking far ahead with its smart glasses and Augmented Reality technologies

Snapshot

Founded in 1997, the group holds 184 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. It has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2021 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others

Vuzix glasses

Quick facts: Vuzix Corporation

Price: 18.82 USD

NASDAQ:VUZI
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $1.05 billion
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  • Products include personal display and wearable computing devices
  • Used across multiple industries including medical and defense
  • Holds 184 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field

What Vuzix Corporation does:

Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ:VUZI) (FRA:V7XN) is a leading supplier of smart glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets.

The company's products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high-quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and AR.

Founded in 1997, the group holds 184 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. It has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2021 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others.

The company manufactures and sells two main products - Vuzix Blade Upgraded smart glasses, and the M-series smart glasses.

The Vuzix Blade Upgraded smart glasses offer complete with personal protective eyewear support out of the box. They deliver a hands-free connection of the digital world to the real world, providing unprecedented access to location-aware information, data collection, remote support communications with both audio and video, and more. The Blade Upgraded glasses benefit from the same features as the regular Blade but include an auto-focus 8-megapixel camera, built-in stereo speakers, and advanced Vuzix voice control.

The Vuzix M-Series boasts the new M4000, M400 and cost-effective M300XL. All models are rich in features, including nHD color displays, voice control, touchpad navigation, three-axis gyroscope integrated head-tracking, 64GB internal flash memory, and left or right eye use. The M4000 uses the M400 as a foundation with the addition of the Waveguide optics enabling see-through displays.

How is it doing:

Vuzix has, as always, been busy at the start of 2021, inking a plethora of deals involving its smart glasses for a number of different industries.

On January 25, the company announced that it has partnered with the overseas subsidiaries of KDDI Group, one of Asia’s largest telecommunications providers, in order to provide its smart glasses to customers across the globe. KDDI provides mobile phone services, fixed-line communication and data centers, making it an optimal one-stop solution provider for everything from network infrastructure installation to the implementation and maintenance of remote work-support systems, the company said.

To support customers across Asia, Europe and the Americas, KDDI overseas branches in China, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, India, Dubai, Phnom Penh and Myanmar have all partnered with Vuzix to resell the company's smart glasses.

Then, on February 10, the company announced that KDDI Research, Inc., a research institute that combines the think tank functions of the KDDI Group with R&D functions, has developed a smart hands-free nursing care support system that employs Vuzix Smart Glasses.

The support system, developed in conjunction with Zenkokai, a social welfare corporation that operates and manages nursing care welfare facilities in Tokyo, displays nursing care-related information using Vuzix Smart Glasses, as well as reads it aloud, by combining facial recognition and speech synthesis technology developed by KDDI Research. By using this system, staff members without detailed resident information can now have this information immediately presented on the spot, even that of new residents, making it possible to take any needed appropriate measures.

Staying in the medical arena, in the middle of January, BioSig Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:BSGM) announced a partnership with Vuzix which will see the medical technology firm deploy Vuzix’s M400 Smart Glasses for remote servicing of its PURE EP System.

The group said the deployment will support the planned nationwide rollout of BioSig’s novel real-time signal processing platform to the large and growing electrophysiology market in the US. The remote servicing support offers an ideal solution for compliance with coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions, it added.

Then at the end of January, Vuzix said it will be collaborating with virtual-care company Hippo Technologies Inc to connect global surgeons and healthcare providers with vital medical networks and virtual care services with the Vuzix M400 and M4000 Smart Glasses. That was followed by news that it has recently received a new follow-on commercial order for M400 Smart Glasses from Dutch medical services company 1Minuut Innovation.

And on February 4, Vuzix said it had completed the first phase of development with a US medical partner to build a customized head-mounted display system for assisted cancer surgery. The program was first announced in October 2020. Vuzix said a second phase of development is currently being contemplated by the customer and could result in potentially greater non-recurring engineering (NRE) revenues, if awarded by the customer, in subsequent phases before an accepted final product design could be expected to lead to a volume original equipment manufacturing (OEM) production order.

In another area, a day earlier, Vuzix revealed that its Smart Glasses have found another use in food processing, after being adopted by the beverage container collection and food sorting company TOMRA. The group said its glasses are compatible with TOMRA Visual Assist, an augmented reality (AR) application that enables TOMRA's remote experts to provide support to a customer or an on-site field service engineer to help optimize food processing equipment performance, reduce costs and improve worker safety, all hands-free.

The TOMRA program delivers remote training and shares specialist knowledge of highly complex products, allowing organizations to operate more efficiently while also cutting down on the need to travel — saving money and keeping employees more protected from coronavirus (COVID-19).

In January, Vuzix said it is teaming up with Jade Bird Display, a Shanghai-based leader in microLED displays. Under a joint-manufacturing and supply agreement, both companies will collaborate on the co-development and cross-supply of solutions incorporating superbright microLED display engines and Vuzix waveguide products.

Jade Bird Display will provide microLED displays and Vuzix will provide newly developed proprietary waveguides and display engine optics to work with these displays. Vuzix said that both monochrome and RGB microLED display solutions are actively being developed for the company’s use in its next-generation smart glass (NGSG) products and for JBD customers.

These solutions are expected to be the world's smallest microLED display engines when commercially released and will utilize Vuzix's latest "monolithic" single layer waveguides, with both glass and plastic options expected to be available.

In the same month, Vuzix said it had completed the Phase 2 design, development and delivery of a customized, waveguide-based, head-worn AR Display Engine for a major US defense contractor. The phase-gated development program with the undisclosed customer was originally announced in March 2020, with the Phase 2 leg announced in October 2020 now completed and delivered before December 31, 2020.

And at the end of January, the company announced that its M4000 Smart Glasses had been recently used to perform a successful worksite inspection via a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone used by Drones4Geology, a Barcelona-based provider of geologic-related drone services. Vuzix said the combined technology was used to access hard to reach areas and bring a different perspective of the study area to the end-customers, including the inspection of cranes, elevated facilities and various machinery

On the financials front, Vuzix posted unaudited preliminary fourth quarter 2020 results on January 15, which show it looks to have achieved record revenue in the period. Vuzix said 4Q revenue increased more than 100% year-over-year to over $4 million, versus $1.96 million in the 2019 quarter. The company said the results would comfortably exceed the Wall Street consensus revenue estimate of $3.5 million for the quarter.

The company also provided an update on its cash position -- which has improved significantly. It had cash exercises of 5,962,571 warrants generating $28.6 million in proceeds have been received over the last 30 days.

That brought Vuzix’s pro forma cash balance, based on the company's last reported cash position of $24.9 million in its 10-Q as of September 30, 2020, to about $53.5 million -- without accounting for negative cash flows incurred from operations since that date.

The company also said it expects to report an operating loss for its 4Q, but it should be less than the consensus estimate of a $4.4 million loss.

Inflection points:

  • Further news on orders and applications
  • Confirmation of fourth-quarter 2020 results

What the boss says:

"Vuzix Smart Glasses continue to be deployed in an ever-widening number of use cases and industries around the world as more and more companies realize that sending a pair of our glasses can be more effective than sending a person,” Vuzix CEO Paul Travers said in a recent statement.

“Deploying Vuzix Smart Glasses in enterprise is usually a safer, cheaper, faster and, in many aspects, just a better way of doing business.”

Contact the author at jon.hopkins@proactiveinvestors.com

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Vuzix forms collaboration to develop microLED display engines and waveguide...

Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ:VUZI) CEO Paul Travers tells Proactive the group is teaming up with Jade Bird Display, a Shanghai-based leader in microLED displays. Under a joint-manufacturing and supply agreement, Travers says both companies will collaborate on the co-development and cross-supply...

on 01/11/2021

8 min read