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Microvision See-Through Display Improves Pilot 'Head-Up' Time by 50 Percent

Flight Tests Show Nomad Augmented Vision Technology Dramatically Improves Pilot Awareness and Safety

BOTHELL, Wash., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent series of flight tests conducted by Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS) and AvroTec showed that general aviation pilots using the prototype Nomad(TM) Personal Display System increased their time spent looking out of the cockpit by as much as 50 percent, dramatically improving flight safety and pilot awareness.

Wearing the head up Nomad display, test pilots were provided the critical flight information for positional and navigational awareness -- a benefit that kept their attention focused on flying the plane. The test results make a strong case that the augmented vision system enhances pilot safety and situational awareness.

"A pilot's capability to see all around the sky is crucial for safe flying," noted Steve Whiston, Microvision's marketing manager for defense and aerospace. "Using the Nomad system not only improves safety, but the sheer joy of flying as well. A safe and enjoyable flight comes from looking out the window at the world going by, not looking down at maps or constantly scanning the display panel for routine data."

Pilots spend up to 40 percent of their flight time with their eyes inside the cockpit -- a potentially dangerous situation.

"Most accidents start because the pilot has become distracted, looking at charts or somewhere other than out of the cockpit," explained Chuck Inmon, test pilot and CEO of AvroTec. "With this system, my attention is focused on flying but I can still see my airspeed, moving map and other key indicators."

In the trials, pilots used a cockpit visualization system built around the Nomad augmented vision display hardware and AvroTec's moving map display software, which superimposed flight information on the external view out of the cockpit. With more time focused outside the cockpit, the pilot's situational awareness, confidence, and safety were enhanced.

Tests show Nomad's impact on pilot's "60-30-10" scenario
In general aviation, most pilots find that 60 percent of their attention is spent looking out the cockpit; 30 percent looking down at navigation displays or at maps; and 10 percent engaged in radio time and other tasks.

"In effect, the use of Nomad changed the 60-30-10 scenario to 90-0-10," said Whiston. "The display provided all the information needed for positional and navigational awareness, and allowed the pilot to stay focused on flying."

"The flight test supports Microvision's extension of the Nomad system's aerospace applications beyond its core military customers to include general aviation pilots," said Tom Sanko, Microvision vice president of marketing.

"With over 200,000 general aviation aircraft in the U.S. alone, we see tremendous market potential," said Sanko. "Combine the increased safety with improving situational awareness, and you have a solid foundation for a very successful Nomad application."

Microvision and AvroTec will demonstrate Nomad and discuss test results at the EAA AirVenture 2001 in Oshkosh, WI, July 24-30.

Microvision continues to pursue market opportunities applicable for the Nomad wearable display and to demonstrate productivity and safety benefits achieved by customers and partners in real world applications. The Nomad system will be available in late 2001.

Digital photo of pilot in the cockpit available:
Contact Richard Duval of Microvision, +1-425-415-6656, or

About Microvision: Headquartered in Bothell, WA, Microvision Inc. is the developer of the patented retinal scanning display technology and a world leader in micro miniature optical scanning technology for display and imaging applications. The company's technology has applications in a broad range of military, medical, industrial, professional and consumer information products.

Forward-Looking Statement
The information set forth in this release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. Certain factors that realistically could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the company's forward-looking statements are set forth in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About AvroTec:
AvroTec, Inc. is a ten-year-old Aurora, OR manufacturer of cockpit displays for general aviation aircraft and is also a founding member of NASA's Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments government/industry consortium (AGATE).