STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Jan. 11, 2016 – Neonode Inc. (NASDAQ:NEON), the Optical Interactive Sensing Technology Company, reports on a successful week at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas. Neonode’s technology was on display at the Encore Hotel, in the ST Micro Private suites, at the Autoliv autonomous driving demonstration, and the Volvo booth at the CES Central Hall.
The big theme for the 2016 CES was autonomous driving enablement technology, and Neonode demonstrated leadership in this space with its steering wheel technology, zForce DRIVE™. Neonode also solidified its position as key a innovator and contributor in the automotive segment with Volvo XC90 winning the inaugural “Best Auto Tech Award” at the 2016 CES. During the event Neonode also demonstrated AirBar™, which was well received with all who tested it, and now anticipate its arrival.
The AirBar sensor (www.air.bar) is a slim bar, magnetically positioned at the bottom of the user’s screen or keyboard, and emits an invisible light field that senses user’s touch and gestures. AirBar responds to fingers, gloves, long finger nails and even paint brushes, turning the user’s screen into a canvas. PC users interact with their screens using familiar touch actions which include swiping, pinching, zooming and scrolling. With AirBar you do not need any drivers or follow complicated instructions, it’s just plug and touch.
The response to Neonode’s new consumer product, AirBar has far exceeded expectations since its announcement mid-December. Over that last 3 weeks, we have been inundated with requests from consumers, PC OEMs, distributors, and retailers on how soon they can get AirBar. Neonode’s plan was to expand incrementally to more sizes, and more regions, but the sheer demand has forced us to move faster to implement this plan. The result is that Neonode has now announced more sizes covering devices with 11.6”, 13.3”, 14”, and 15.6 inches screens. This range was decided on feedback from Neonode’s PC OEM, and display manufacturer partners. Furthermore, Neonode has also increased AirBar availability for pre-orders to more countries which include: China, India, Japan, and South Korea. Neonode is working with distributors, retailers, and Tier 1 PC OEM partners to bring AirBar to the mass market. Retailers will sell AirBar standalone for existing PCs, and also bundled with new PCs. PC OEMs will bundle AirBar with non-touch PCs to enhance the value they can bring to the consumer. Along with retail and online presence, Neonode will be working with resellers to the education, and enterprise channels.
AirBar is planned to be a platform for enabling other technologies such as virtual reality, gaming, and mouse functionalities. Neonode will release an API and work with a community of developers on finding advance functionalities for AirBar which can touch enable any surface, and space.
Neonode participated in the Pepcom media event on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The response from key media outlets was overwhelmingly positive with all wanting to review final production models when available. Neonode is planning to make AirBar available for review to coincide with product availability.
Through partners, Neonode is building an initial production capacity of 5 million devices, with targeted mass production commencing in late April, and first customer shipment of May 2016.
According to Microsoft, there are 500 million existing notebook devices and 140 million new notebooks being manufactured each year. The market is vast, so Neonode is working diligently to address this market using the best channels.
Neonode’s AirBar Devices Business will be headed by Remo Behdasht – SVP AirBar Devices and Business Development. Behdasht is highly experience in consumer electronics with comprehensive networks in North America, Europe, and Asia.
For more information on AirBar visit www.air.bar
From the Automotive segment Neonode is happy to report that Volvo XC90 won the “Best Auto Tech Award” at the 2016 CES. Volvo beat out infotainment systems from Cadillac, Honda, VW, Chevrolet and Kia. Judging criteria included, but was not limited to, native and off-board voice recognition quality, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto connectivity and performance, embedded navigation accuracy, response times, menu clarity, and, most of all, intuitive operation from behind the wheel.
“With a keen focus on determining excellence in connected-car technology, we tested six touchscreen infotainment platforms deemed worthy of consideration for the first Kelley Blue Book Best Auto Tech Award,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “One console in particular, the 2016 Volvo XC90 and its Sensus® technology, was especially notable for its ability to enhance driving pleasure while also fostering safety, and it stood above the rest when it came to feature content, response times, ease-of-use and value.”
Autoliv featured Neonode’s zForce DRIVE™ in an autonomous drive vehicle where world’s leading automotive manufacturers could experience the driver control to autonomous drive handover process first hand. Several manufacturers are moving to next level of testing, including a development agreement signed with a leading North American car manufacturer with testing commencing April 2016.
Neonode has demonstrated a number of zForce AIR implementations at the Encore Hotel with new NN1003 sensor chip partner ST Micro. In cooperation with Samsung Display, Neonode demonstrated the world first application of touch, trackpad and air-gesture functionality on a 55 inch transparent display. Unlike zForce AIR™ technology, competing technologies must add extra layers of film or glass which deteriorate transparency. Neonode’s technology for transparent displays can touch and gesture enable selected sections of the display, known as Selective Area Touch (SAT) which is unique to Neonode, this not only adds advanced functions to current and next generation of displays, but also does so at costs low enough to be applied to a whole range of devices from entry level to premium models. Samsung® transparent and mirror displays with zForce AIR technology present unlimited opportunities including: car windscreens, and windows, retail dressing rooms and windows, office and home glass partitions, television displays, automotive infotainment displays, and foldable displays which are the future of mobile devices. Neonode is working closely with Samsung Display to bring this technology to the mass market.
Through the successful application of Neonode technology in the Garmin® aeronautical console, Neonode is now working on additional implementations for aircrafts, and vehicles.
“Neonode is moving toward a hybrid business model consisting of fully assembled and tested modules, and licensing. The 2016 CES was one which further confirmed Neonode as a leading technology innovator and also provided further assurance that we are on the right path to be a leading player for automotive, PC, and a variety of sense enabled displays and devices. I am extremely excited about the future of Neonode and can say we have never been in a stronger position to achieve our objectives in becoming a leading force in sensing technologies.” said Thomas Eriksson, CEO of Neonode.
Gunnar Fröjdh, VP of Global Sales Automotive
Investor relations contact:
Neonode Inc. (NASDAQ:NEON) develops and licenses optical sensors for touch and proximity applications, allowing companies to design and build high performing solutions at a competitive cost. Neonode is at the forefront of providing unparalleled user experiences that offer significant advantages for OEM’s. This includes features such as low latency finger, pen or brush sensing, proximity-, pressure-, and depth sensing capabilities and object-size measuring.
Neonode’s patented MultiSensing® technology is developed to support a wide range of applications such as automotive steering wheels and infotainment systems, mobile phones, tablets and e-readers, Internet Of Things (IOT) applications, toys and gaming consoles, printers, white goods, drones and wearable devices.
NEONODE, the NEONODE logo, MULTISENSING, and ZFORCE are trademarks of Neonode Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. ZFORCE DRIVE, AIRBAR and ZFORCE AIR are trademarks of Neonode Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
For more information please visit www.neonode.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include, but are not limited to, statements relating to expectations, future performance or future events, and product cost, performance, and functionality matters. These statements are based on current assumptions, expectations and information available to Neonode management and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Neonode’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.
These risks, uncertainties, and factors are discussed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in Neonode’s public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including Neonode’s annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K. You are advised to carefully consider these various risks, uncertainties and other factors. Although Neonode management believes that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are reasonable, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be fulfilled. Forward-looking statements are made as of today’s date, and Neonode undertakes no duty to update or revise them.