Microvision touts itself as “the world leader in high-resolution scanned beam display and imaging systems built upon the company’s proprietary silicon micro-mirror technology”. Currently this company is designing various displays that are incorporated into eyeglasses, goggles, helmets or projection systems. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports about the possible development of a “tiny endoscopic camera” by Microvision and Ethicon Endo-Surgery:
Microvision Inc., a Bothell high-tech maker of imaging systems and high-resolution displays, has signed a deal for up to $11.7 million with Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, for what could be the production of a tiny endoscopic camera.
A 1.4-megapixel device that is 3 millimeters in diameter could be attached to a rigid or flexible sticklike instrument. It then could be inserted into the body to help doctors see during surgeries, such as gallbladder operations. Such a camera would be smaller than any currently being used in the market. There are estimates that the market for such cameras is about $700 million per year for both rigid and flexible endoscopes.
What’s in the works is not really clear to me. A new camera? A new system to display endoscopic images? A competitor for PillCam? Developing…
More on scanned-beam display technology from Microvision…
UPDATE at 01/04/05 12:59:40:
The official press release is out. It is rather sketchy.