Imaging & Detector Industry Report

by Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

Investment brings eMagin to Rohm
eMagin (Hopewell Junction, NY), and Rohm Company (Kyoto, Japan) have announced a strategic investment by Rohm in eMagin. Rohm is purchasing 1.28 million shares of eMagin common stock at $0.78 per share, as well as warrants to purchase an additional 512,820 shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.85 per share for an investment of US$1 million. In conjunction with the investment, Rohm and eMagin have agreed to explore the development of a partnership agreement that could potentially include cooperative activities such as working with Rohm exclusively or nonexclusively to outsource manufacturing, design, and distribution. In addition, the companies expect to explore the development of new integrated-circuit chips to be incorporated into eMagin's microdisplays for consumer applications such as camera or camcorder viewfinders, and other opportunities.

Analogic receives open-ended order for 1000 imagers
Analogic (Peabody, MA) has received an open-ended order for up to 1000 of its explosive assessment computed tomography (EXACT) systems from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), according to a company announcement, which describes EXACT as the "heart" of a certified explosive detection system that is being purchased by the U.S. government and installed at major airports across the country. The current OEM contract, which is the largest in the company's 33-year history, has a potential value of approximately $500 million, including spare parts, associated services, and infrastructure enhancements.

Face-recognition system identifies 'Afghan Girl'
Viisage Technology (Littleton, MA) has announced that its face-recognition technology was used by National Geographic to help verify the identity of the "Afghan Girl," Sharbat Gula, who graced the cover of the magazine in 1984. Because at least one other woman claimed to be the famous "Afghan Girl," National Geographic used face-recognition technology to help establish the correct identity. The original photo was captured when the girl was just 13 years old, and the two women in question were enrolled in a Viisage database containing more than 400,000 other images. The current image of Sharbat Gula came up as the match to the original photo. Tom Colatosti, CEO and president of Viisage Technology, said, "It is quite remarkable that we could in fact match two images taken under very different environmental circumstances and that were separated by 17 years of aging."

Coreco focuses new division on expansion of end-user base
Coreco Imaging (Montreal, Que., Canada) has formed an Intelligent Products Division to provide easy-to-use, prepackaged machine-vision products to end users. Headquartered in Billerica, MA, this wholly owned subsidiary of Coreco Imaging will serve the international market. "As we expand our product line beyond our traditional OEM-focused offerings, we will position ourselves as a major player in the end-user market, which represents a much larger potential user base," said Keith Reuben, president and CEO of Coreco Imaging.

Also in the news . . .

A new report, "Document Imaging Scanner Forecast," from InfoTrends Research Group (Boston, MA) projects that unit shipments of document imaging scanners will grow at a projected 33% annually through 2006, with revenues growing 12%. . . . DRS Technologies (Parsippany, NJ) has received a contract to design and manufacture dual-display sonar consoles for the Sonar 2087 Project of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. . . . FLIR Systems Inc. (Portland, OR) has launched seven new handheld infrared-camera models to support the company's high-end professional customer base as well as enable entry into new commercial-market applications. . . . Luna Innovations (Blacksburg, VA) is launching a fourth company, Luna Energy, focusing on development and commercialization of sensors for the oil and gas industry. . . . Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co. (Kyoto, Japan) and Agfa (Mortsel, Belgium) are planning to deploy the Silicon Light Machines (San Jose, CA) grating light-valve device in their next-generation and latest computer-to-plate printing systems, respectively. . . . Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) has been awarded a $69,951 Phase I contract by the U.S. Army to demonstrate the feasibility of using three of its proprietary organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies—high-efficiency phosphorescent, transparent, and flexible OLED technologies—for a conformable, transparent, high-resolution, low-power display.

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