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|American Honda Motor Company Introduces Microvision's Nomad Augmented Vision System to Honda and Acura Dealers|
New Information Tool for Technicians to Be Named i-Tech Receives Enthusiastic Response from Dealers
BOTHELL, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 7, 2003-- American Honda Motor Company and Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS) today reported that Honda successfully introduced Microvision's Nomad Augmented Vision System to its assemblies of American Honda and Acura dealers. The product introduction took place at the auto company's two annual dealer shows held in San Diego, September 18, and San Francisco, October 2. Based on the enthusiastic dealer response, Microvision is planning a launch in early 2004.
Unveiled to dealers under the Honda name "i-Tech Expert Technician System," the Nomad Augmented Vision System is a powerful tool that promises to increase the efficiency and accuracy of service technicians performing complex repair procedures, thereby reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction. The head-worn display, designed by Microvision, can overlay automobile diagnostics and repair instructions directly on the technician's vision. The result is that work is completed accurately and efficiently.
"Our mission is customer satisfaction," said Tom Laymon, Honda's assistant vice president for national parts and service. "Providing our dealers and their service centers with the right tools to "fix it right the first time" is a key focus for Honda. We believe that the Nomad wireless, head-worn information tool is the best service solution for the increasing complexity of the vehicles and ever-higher customer expectations for quality, timely repairs. Based on our recently concluded evaluation of the next-generation Nomad product and coupled with the enthusiastic feedback from our Honda dealers at the annual conference, we are planning to roll out the i-Tech Expert Technician System to our dealers and technicians in early 2004."
Comments from Honda dealers following the National Conference in San Diego underscored the enthusiasm for the i-Tech Expert Technician System. Larry Mallory, general manager of Honda of Kirkland in Kirkland, Washington, and Chairman of Honda's e-Business Dealer Council commented, "I believe that i-Tech will be a great tool for our technicians, both the "top techs" and the less-experienced techs on our team. Our service operation is eager to use this new product. We already envision the value of i-Tech for diagnostic and warranty repairs and claims coding, as well as the training potential offered by i-Tech. Honda of Kirkland is eagerly looking forward to working with this promising new tool."
"i-Tech will let my technicians fix the vehicles right the first time, which means satisfied customers and a more productive service team," said Jim Lanik, owner of Roger Beasely Honda South East of San Antonio in Victoria, Texas. "I am one of the few dealers who is a master technician. Repairing cars is how I got into the business. I sure wish we had this type of product in my day -- I can't wait to get i-Tech into my shop."
In a field trial of the Nomad Augmented Vision System at the American Honda Motor Company training center in Torrance, CA, Microvision and Honda measured average increases of 39% in the efficiency of skilled service technicians performing complex repair procedures. As part of a recent study commissioned by Microvision, a formula for return on investment (ROI) with the use of the Nomad Augmented Vision System was created for a typical automotive dealership. At a conservative 18 - 20% time efficiency gain, a dealership would realize a net ROI of $2,292 per technician per month. Annualized for eight technicians the ROI could be as high as $113,000.
American Honda Motor Company has approximately 1,500 Honda and Acura dealerships with an estimated 18,000 technicians, as well as an estimated 50,000 Honda-certified independent technicians in the U.S. The technicians in each of these locations are potential users of the i-tech Expert Technician System. On July 31, 2003 Microvision announced a non-binding Letter of Intent from Honda to purchase 3800 Nomad Systems beginning in 2004.
The i-Tech system will be a wireless, head-worn information tool incorporating a lightweight Nomad display mounted on a Honda/Acura baseball cap, and a belt-worn control module with integrated 'thin client' computer and battery. The i-Tech tool will display and control Honda service and diagnostic information through Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol from a remote Windows(R) 2003 Server using an 802.11(b) wireless network. "The 'thin-client' format makes it possible and affordable for all technicians in a typical dealership service center to simultaneously access separate information from one server," said Tom Sanko, vice president of marketing for Microvision.
"We're thrilled with the enthusiasm conveyed by the dealers at both shows," continued Sanko. "Seeing strong evidence of demand from the dealers was a key factor in driving our launch strategy. The next steps for Honda and Microvision include gathering feedback from several scheduled field tests of the i-Tech system at selected Honda and Acura dealers throughout the U.S. It is the final important step in preparing for product launch in early 2004. We're fine tuning the product configuration by having the technicians use the product throughout a typical work day."
Microvision and Honda are expected to showcase the i-Tech Expert Technician System in the Honda exhibit at two upcoming industry trade shows: the Specialty Equipment Market Association in Las Vegas November 4-7 and the National Autobody Congress and Expo in Orlando December 5-7.
About Microvision: www.microvision.com
Headquartered in Bothell, Wash., Microvision Inc. is the developer of highly patented scanned beam 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
Certain statements contained in this release, including product development and launch plans, potential product users, future arrangements with Honda, opportunities for product sales, and product applications, as well as statements containing words like "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "expect," and other similar expressions, are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the company's forward-looking statements include the following: market acceptance of our technologies and products; our ability to obtain financing; our financial and technical resources relative to those of our competitors; our ability to keep up with rapid technological change; government regulation of our technologies; our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights and protect our proprietary technologies; the ability to obtain additional contract awards and to develop partnership opportunities; the timing of commercial product launches; the ability to achieve key technical milestones in key products; and other risk factors identified from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including in its Annual Report on 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
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CONTACT: Microvision, Inc.
SOURCE: Microvision, Inc.