When you make the unbelievable believable, you change perception.
But when you make the unreal a reality, you change the world.
Last week, the Daguela brothers made history.
Today, I present you with the updated story of NexOptic Technology Corp. – a small tribute for those who could not attend the official launch event.
I’ll also go over what’s happening to the stock, as well as debunk the misinformation being spread by short sellers.
Most importantly, I’ll tell you where I think this Company is headed.
This is the story of NexOptic Technology Corp. and their breakthrough in optics, Blade Optics™.
NexOptic Technology Corp.
(TSX Venture: NXO)
(OTC: NXOPF) (Frankfurt: E3O) (Berlin: E3O)
They promised something spectacular with Blade Optics™.
Something with the potential to disrupt the optical market
They started over 10 years ago – and this past week, they delivered!
Today, I am going to show you something that up until last Tuesday, has never been seen before: images from a Blade Optics device.
But what is Blade Optics™?
What is Blade Optics™?
Blade Optics is BIG apertures, in thin devices, that can see further.
An aperture is the opening that lets light into a camera.
Big apertures gather more light and more light means more information, which leads to better pictures.
But as apertures get bigger, the systems housing the lenses get longer.
That’s why sports photographers often carry massively long lenses – they need to gather more light so that they can see further.
Until last Tuesday, the world only knew of this concept.
The length of our current imaging devices has been a limiting factor to the world of optics for over 400 years – ever since Newton improved on Galileo’s design.
You see, the trick isn’t just getting big apertures – we already know how to do that.
The trick is getting big apertures in thin devices.
Thin devices like smartphones.
And that’s what Blade Optics™ does.
Blade Optics gives thin devices the technology and physics to see further.
This can both improve current devices AND enable entirely new types of devices.
And it’s all done using unprecedented physics for optics: flat surfaces.
A Dramatic Shift
Take, for example, a regular telescope. It’s massive and long.
But Blade Optics is much thinner. Yes, a little wider and a little taller – but much thinner.
In fact, a typical 40-inch long regular telescope is only about 5 inches deep with Blade Optics.
That’s a HUGE benefit for many sectors!
But being thin is just one of the many benefits of Blade Optics.
Blade Optics™ is Geometry
You see, Blade Optics is geometry.
It’s not some nano or metamaterial, nor is it a technology that requires super rare and expensive materials.
Because its geometry – physics – it’s scalable.
That means it has the potential to scale up to large telescopes…
…or scale down to very small devices.
This also means it can be adapted from a wide variety of materials.
But that’s not all.
When you have large apertures, you gather more light. And gathering more light enables better pictures in low light conditions – a limiting factor in the many camera systems and optical devices we use today.
And unlike a lot of technologies, the Blade Optics system has numerous potential applications.
Applications such as:
- Sports optics – like binoculars and scopes
- Telescopes for small and large satellites
- Night and thermal vision (can be used for more than just visible light)
- and mobile devices – like smartphones and industrial cameras
Combined, these sectors are worth billions upon billions of dollars.
In fact, combined digital camera sales alone last year was nearly US$80 billion.
But with Blade Optics, visionary customers could potentially create whole NEW categories of applications.
Potential applications could include…
- Cell phones with night vision
- Economical yet HUGE Land Based Telescopes
- Novel medical imaging – for example, imaging biological samples with low light to prevent damage.
- Extreme high-resolution cameras that stitch zoomed images together
Now, of course, I am getting a little ahead of myself. While the potential is HUGE, we’re not there yet.
But in just a bit, I am going to tell you how NexOptic is on track to completely disrupt just one of these multi-billion dollar industries.
Before I do that, here’s how it all happened.
This is important because it’s part of the science – the physics in how it all works.
How Blade Optics™ was Discovered
“Penicillin, insulin, microwaves, x-rays, velcro, and even viagra were discovered by accident.
They all changed the world.”
Around 10 years ago, the solar market was extremely hot.
And being one whose work is to make things more efficient by solving complex problems, Darcy Daguela, a research engineer at one of the largest producers of synthetic crude oil in the world, began to look at how he could make solar more efficient.
He asked: “What is the thinnest design to concentrate solar energy? Was it possible to make a solar concentrator as thin as a sheet of plastic, lay it out on a field and have all the light come off the edge?”
In order to answer his question, he wrote special software, later dubbed Rocket Optics, and began to test millions and millions of optical configurations.
For months he would iterate the design, all the time trying to concentrate the light more and more.
To his surprise, one common technique kept coming up over and over again.
He thought, “Wow – this is really neat.”
He took his calculations to his brother John and asked:
“How much can we concentrate the light? Are these calculations even right?”
They decided to field-test their idea. But they didn’t have an optical lab with big pieces of glass to simulate their calculations.
They did, however, have a kiddie pool from John’s two daughters. Yes, a kiddie pool!
Ignoring the looks from their daughters and neighbours, they filled the pool with water and the optical pieces that might show the idea.
When the sun caught their optical contraption just right, at the right angle…whoosh!
The trees behind John’s house light up. Wow! The light was concentrating! Eureka!
That’s when they first realized the calculations in their program wasn’t the result of a math error…it really did compress light.
But that’s not all.
John noticed that not only could they feel the heat of the compressed light, but they could actually see a compressed IMAGE of the sun.
The concentration of light was massive, but seeing the image was the key piece of this breakthrough science.
They knew they had something.
Of course, with something this novel, pursuing the project wouldn’t be easy.
Imagine funding a science project that redefines centuries of physics, conducted out of software and a kiddie pool made for two little girls in a backyard.
But that’s when the brothers pitched a well-known capital markets advisor who had the vision to see its potential.
Together, they formed Spectrum Optix and through a deal with NexOptic Technology Corp. became funded to pursue this breakthrough. NexOptic has an option to acquire 100% of Spectrum Optix.
Yes, it was a big risk at the time. But without risk, there would be little reward.
Once funding was in place, they took the concept to ACAMP (Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT Products), a government lab, so that the government’s PhD in optics could analyze it.
After working with the idea, the PhD’s at ACAMP said we have good news: The good news is that it does keep an image – but the bad news is we don’t have the tools to fully analyze it. Our tools are made for curved lenses…
The brothers went on a search to pursue someone who could help.
And what better place to look than the world’s largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in North America, SPIE.
The Missing Piece
When the brothers showed up, they couldn’t believe how big the optical industry actually was.
There were over 3000 vendors and trade show booths – all showcasing their expertise in optics.
The brothers split up and talked to every optical expert they could. After five days of conversations, and a worn out pair of shoes (the sole of John’s shoes had literally split), the brothers found Ruda-Cardinal Inc.
Ruda-Cardinal is a leader in the field of optical engineering, specializing in rapid prototyping and creative solutions to unique and complicated challenges.
They are a world-renowned group that many in the field of optics know about.
I confirmed this during my due diligence when I attended the SPIE conference last year.
Almost every optical engineering firm I spoke with knew who they were. Not only did they know Ruda-Cardinal, there was an aura of, “Crap, we can’t compete with those guys.”
And I know why.
Ruda-Cardinal were part of the Hubble Space Telescope repair team, have won technical awards in Hollywood, and are one of the most-trusted optical engineering teams for many critical space and military projects.
In fact, they were one of the only firms that believed (not at first) in what the brothers were doing – after all, it was a project that contradicts much of what optics engineers learn in school.
The team at Ruda Cardinal, led by Dr. Tilman Stuhlinger, began work on the prototype.
Just take a look at their credentials for yourself: http://www.ruda.com/team.php
Here is Dr. Tilman:
But obviously, the task wasn’t easy.
Remember, nobody has done imaging with flat optics like this before.
After a year of work, and many late nights and time away from home, design 21 finally met their objectives: a great image in a ground-breaking compact space!
But more importantly, through all of the design iterations, they gained an understanding of not only how it works, but why.
Their new deep understanding of the design is why they are so confident they can revolutionize so many markets.
So how does it work?
How Blade Optics™ Works
Here’s the basic concept.
The reason telescopes are long is because they need large apertures in order to obtain good image quality. That’s because large apertures require a long focusing distance.
But how do you do that in small and thin devices, like a smartphone?
In smartphones, there is a very limited amount of space, which means smaller apertures and thus, low image quality.
But Blade Optics is different.
Blade Optics uses flat surfaces to compress light before it is focused.
You see, when you project an image through a curved lens, and then onto a flat image sensor, you get many distortions.
Lenses are long because they require a long distance to correct these distortions.
Blade Optics uses flat lenses instead of curved lenses.
And while flat lenses have distortions too, these distortions can be corrected in a shorter distance.
This allows a large aperture with high image quality and magnification, in a short depth.
That’s the basic concept of Blade Optics™.
A First in Optics
Here is another way to view the benefits of Blade Optics.
Telescopes have large apertures, but they are deep.
Smart phones are thin but only support small apertures.
In other wors, optical devices today have to trade off aperture for device depth.
Blade Optics allows the best of both worlds.
And that’s why it is revolutionary.
Does it Work?
After waiting months for the prototype to be revealed, we can now say that not only does their technology work, but it works amazingly well – especially considering it’s just a proof-of-concept prototype (POC).
On Tuesday, the team at NexOptic finally unveiled the first public images from a flat optic device…EVER!
All of the images you are about to see were taken with the Blade Optics™ prototype.
The POC was pitted directly against a 5″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope – one of the most compact telescopes on the market whose optical excellence is the reason it was chosen by NASA for many space shuttle missions.
What is impressive is not just the picture quality, but proof that the science works in such a small device.
Here is a shot of the moon taken with a device only 5 inches deep.
For a direct comparison, the team took the Blade Optics POC and a 5″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and set them up, side-by-side, under the exact same conditions, on a crisp mountain night with Rob Cardinal and Larry McNish.
For context, both Mr. Cardinal and Mr. McNish’s credentials run deep.
- B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Victoria, Canada
- Currently oversees the development of massively parallel software and high-performance computer systems to search for asteroids in the data images returned from the satellite.
- Developed unique automated moving object detection software for the Near Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) project with which he has discovered two comets which bear his name, and one near-Earth Asteroid.
- Member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
- Astronomer and astrophotographer for 30 years
- Past president of the Calgary Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
- Won multiple awards including the AstroImaging Award in 2006 and 2007 and also the Peter Sim Public Education Award in 2009.
- Designed and built the 4-Station Roll-Off Observatory for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in Calgary
- Co-designed and built the Roll-Away building Observatory for the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
The two waited until the moon came up and hooked up the camera from Blade Optics to Rob’s laptop.
Take a look at the video below:
What you are seeing in the video is the real deal – live, unprocessed images from Blade Optics directly hooked up to a laptop.
And this is the end result:
For the purpose of creating comparison images, identical image processing* methods were applied to both the industry leading 5-inch aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and the 5-inch equivalent aperture diagonal Blade Optics™ Prototype telescope.
(*A quick note on image processing: I’ve received some questions as to why the images of the moon were processed. The answer is actually quite simple: nearly every astrophotograph you see is processed. Any, and I mean ANY, astrophotographer will process their raw images.
Here is one simple article that explains it: https://photographylife.com/how-to-photograph-moon. In fact, every picture you take with your iPhone is image-processed (unless you change the setting to Raw.) That’s Apple constantly touts their image processing capabilities in the iPhone.)
Both devices were mounted on the same tripod and several fields of the moon were imaged with each device. Each field was imaged 9 times in succession.
The 9 images for each field were processed to create a median image. The fields were then stitched together to create the lightly processed images shown above.
A second process first applied a reconstruction filter (Lucy-Richardson deconvolution) to a single-color channel of an image from each field, and then stitched these fields together to create the processed images.
Obviously, the processed image from the Blade Optics prototype looks significantly better than the lightly processed image of the C5.
So the team decided to further image process the picture taken with the C5 to ensure a better comparable, and here’s what they got:
As you can see, it’s not only hard to tell the difference, but when you consider the 5″ Schmidt-Cassegrain design has been improved through nearly 80 years, the Blade Optics prototype is seriously something to behold.
And let’s not forget that: it’s a proof-of-concept prototype!
The Blade Optics POC is not a refined commercial product like the one it was pitted up against. And I’d say it did quite well.
There you have it: the science not only works, but you could easily argue that the POC works just as well as a telescope used by NASA for many space shuttle missions.
But here’s the exciting part…
As I strongly stated, what you have seen is a proof-of-concept prototype – a design that was completed over a year ago.
Since that time, the team has had many major advances in their technology, which have led to the filing of several new patent applications.
And as I mentioned earlier, they can adapt this design quickly to new applications.
To demonstrate this, last Tuesday, the team announced an incredible advance in their technology.
Generation II: Diamond Blade Optics™
The Diamond Blade Optics™ is designed for mobile devices.
Call it Generation 2 of the Blade Optics™ design, and the first of many applications to come.
And in case you’re wondering, you can rest easy that the word Diamond is a result of the geometry, not the material.
Diamond Blade Optics™ is not only a whole new design with a BIG aperture using the concepts they learned from Blade Optics, but the data thus far shows significantly more light gathering area of current mobile lens designs.
“…The Companies are encouraged by preliminary simulated image results recently obtained using Zemax ray tracing software from their Diamond Blade Optics™ design for mobile devices. This is the same optical simulation software utilized in the creation of their proof of concept telescope prototype containing their patent pending Blade Optics™ technology.”
But that’s not all.
“…The Companies also note that an optical design with a significantly expanded field of view from their telescope prototype may lend itself to other optical applications outside of the mobile market.”
That means Diamond Blade Optics may not only be able to see further, but it could see even more – even with very thin mobile devices!
Incredibly, the team believes it can do this with fewer parts and an even a simpler design than the current Blade Optics proof-of-concept.
Why a Mobile Lens?
I own an iPhone 7 Plus. The biggest advantage of having this phone over the others is the dual lens system Apple has incorporated to assist with taking better long range pictures.
But even this dual lens camera system is limited in how far it can see. That’s because despite the size of the new camera, it’s still limited by curved lens physics.
In the end, the iPhone 7 Plus can only give us a 2x optical zoom. Yet, it is the closest thing we have on the market today to a true mobile telephoto lens.
Of course, Apple isn’t stopping there.
Early last year, I told you that Apple would incorporate the dual lens system we just talked about before it was announced for the iPhone 7 Plus.
How did I know this was going to happen?
Because Apple’s patent filings, which any one can see, gave us the clues. But that’s not all I found.
Via Optics for Hire:
“In recent years, a key differentiator in the competition between smart phone manufacturers has been cameras.
A quick look at the marketing for the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Nokia and HTC smart phones demonstrates how important outstanding camera performance has become to phone vendors.
Consumers expect high quality, high resolution cameras for both the front faces and rear facing sensors. As a result, camera module suppliers are constantly trying to improve maximum achievable resolution, sensitivity, color reproduction, illumination, hand shake correction and auto focusing.
One industry with a strong interest in this trend is suppliers who add custom optics on top of a cell phone for specific applications. These applications include consumer photography (Photojojo), medical devices like otoscopes (CellScope) and inspect eye health (SmartVision) These add-on providers need to keep a sharp eye on changes in camera optics and mechanics as they could have a big impact on their own product road maps.
One of the key technical obstacles that must be overcome to improve image quality is the mechanical space limitations. The thickness of a mobile phone very seldom exceeds 10 mm. And the sizes of mobile optics used inside of cameras are correspondingly small.
Design of optics which could fit into this size is not always possible.
In fact, the laws of physics are so inconvenient that Apple, which is known for its love to sleek industrial design, downplayed the fact that even on the iPhone a ‘bump out’ was needed to provide the proper space for camera optics.”
Note the importance of the words in bold, particularly: “The laws of physics are so inconvenient…”
As you can clearly see, space and depth are extremely limiting factors in mobile devices – one that every smartphone manufacturer is attempting to solve.
Right now, there is just no way to break those limitations with regular curved optics.
But there is with Diamond Blade Optics.
The physics behind Diamond Blade Optics could break the limitations we just discussed.
Now the Layman question is, “How come big companies – like Apple, Google or Samsung – aren’t all over this technology?”
To which I would reply: “How do we know they’re not?”
Apple is clearly on the hunt for optics technology that can break the size limitations in a smartphone. Diamond Blade Optics does just that.
I am merely speculating here, but ask yourself this: If you are Apple and you know about Diamond Blade Optics, would you make a move? Same goes for Samsung and Google, or any other major smartphone maker.
We already know the Blade Optics technology and its physics work – the POC proves it.
And now the NexOptic team is telling us that they are using the same proven methods, the same proven team, and the same proven science for Diamond Blade Optics.
More importantly, the same software program used to design the POC is not only showing encouraging results, but is showing that it has an even bigger field of view.
What could that mean?
Time will tell.
Of course, if discussions with ANY of the major smartphone providers are being had, they will likely take time, so patience here is key.
Furthermore, now we know the science works, do the smart phone optical engineers really need to see a smart phone prototype completed to take an interest? I would bet that the answer is no.
We can only speculate at this point, but that’s the beauty of such a technological breakthrough.
I believe that Diamond Blade Optics is on track to revolutionize the mobile device lens market – and that doesn’t include the numerous other markets it could disrupt.
The vision is real. The era of flat optic imaging is here.
My bet is that someone will make a move. It’s just a matter of when.
I still recommend you read my original report if you haven’t already – it gives another perspective of just how big the Blade Optics disruption could become, especially now that the POC has proved the science.
Media Coverage Begins
Obviously, a breakthrough Canadian technology that redefines physics will surely gain the attention of the media.
Just this week, Global News covered the story on numerous occasions.
Here are links to some of the clips. Click the images to watch them.
Here is Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Scott McGillivray talking about NexOptic’s Blade Optic Technology:
Here is the segment of NexOptic that was aired on Global National on April 9 – segment at the 14:37 mark:
Here is the live news coverage from the launch event on April 4, 2017:
And here is futurist Stephen Petranek explaining why Blade Optics will revolutionize everything from telescopes to smartphones:
What’s Going on with the Stock?
It looks like the shorts were covering the last two days after the media blitz this weekend from Global News.
But here is something very interesting…
If you recall from my last newsletter, “What Happened to NexOptic Technologies,” it appeared that the majority of the shorts traded through TD and Anonymous.
This should come as no surprise since TD is one of the largest retail brokerage firms in Canada, meaning they likely have the most stock to lend out.
TD Waterhouse is currently the largest holder of NexOptic Stock in their client accounts, with just over 11 million shares on their books as at the end of April 7, 2017.
So I called TD Waterhouse’s trade desk Monday and asked if I could short NXO*, and the lady replied, “Sure thing – not a problem.”
(*No, I have never gone short on NexOptic.)
I then asked her, “What if I wanted to take a large short position?” How much is available for borrow?”
She went back to her manager and he came back and told me that there is absolutely no stock available for borrow to short…none!
This is interesting considering TD’s net position as of Friday was just over 11 million shares.
My opinion is that this likely means the short fund is tapped out to borrow for a short position for now (unless they call other firms for borrow) – which is likely why it appeared they were covering Monday, and yesterday.
Of course, they could also be naked shorting (selling without borrowing).
Something to consider…
This doesn’t mean the shorts are gone and it doesn’t mean they have to cover immediately.
How to Prevent Shorts from Borrowing YOUR Stock
The best way to prevent your stock from being borrowed is to request to put the shares in a share certificate (physical) form (I do this sometimes, but not very often). However, this means you’d be walking around with potentially thousands of dollars on a piece of paper – not exactly convenient.
The best way to prevent short sellers from borrowing your stock is to NOT leave your stock in a margin account.
If you have a margin account and you own NXO (or any other) stock in those accounts, moving the stock(s) over to a cash account should prevent that stock from being borrowed. You could even call your brokerage house and request that your stock not be lent out.
As I said before, short sellers can be squeezed – no matter the size of the fund.
Just take a look at what happened yesterday to the short sellers on Straight Path Communications Inc., when AT&T announced plans to buy them in a deal worth $1.6 billion.
In the months prior to this announcement, Straight Path was the target of heavy short sellers who apparently spread fake news and misinformation on the Company and shorted the Company to the tune of nearly 50% of its entire float. It was so rampant that the Company had to issue a report earlier this year on the subject.
In fact, the short seller actions on Straight Path were very similar to the actions we have seen by short sellers on NXO – misinformation combined with Pseudonyms on stock chat rooms and other publications that allow “anonymous” authors. I mean, why use a pseudonym if your intentions are true?
Here is an article from the lawyers at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP that explain it well:
In the end, the value of Straight Path’s business proved to be significantly higher than even what the market had pegged it at, let alone what the short sellers believed.
In yet another coincidental and timely event yesterday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced a crackdown on alleged stock schemes in which writers were secretly paid to post hundreds of articles about public companies on financial websites.
“Twenty-seven individuals and entities, including a Hollywood actress, were charged with misleading investors into believing they were reading “independent, unbiased analyses” on websites such as Seeking Alpha, Benzinga and Wall Street Cheat Sheet.
The SEC said many writers used pseudonyms such as Equity Options Guru, The Swiss Trader, Trading Maven and Wonderful Wizard to hype stocks.”
When you’re breaking ground on new technology and one of the most traded and watched stocks in all of Canada’s small cap market, people will take notice – including short sellers.
They will put out reports from third parties disproving the technology.
They will tell you all of the reasons why the Company is overvalued.
They will even spread misinformation about the tech to get investors to sell their stock.
Because that’s precisely what short sellers need.
They need investors to sell them stock at lower prices.
It’s not rocket science.
Sure, their algo’s and trading patterns can scare people into believing something is wrong with the Company – just like they tried with Straight Path Communications.
For NexOptic, not only have they proven their POC works, but one could argue it works just as good as the same C5 telescope chosen by NASA for many space shuttle missions.
Yet, a recent short seller report I read has made negative claims about aberrations based on the Blade Optics patent filings. But in his attempt to paint a negative picture (or sound smart?), failed to state that even perfectly designed systems contain optical aberrations. This is Physics 101. How an “expert” doesn’t know that is beyond me.
Via Edmund Optics:
“Designing optical systems is never an easy task; even perfectly designed systems contain optical aberrations. The trick is in understanding and correcting for these optical aberrations in order to create an optimal system.”
In fact, all lenses have aberrations.
“Lenses do not form perfect images, and a lens always introduces some degree of distortion or aberration that makes the image an imperfect replica of the object.”
In other words, short seller reports can easily “distort” the truth via wordplay, but smart investors who do their own diligence can easily figure it out.
I can’t tell you how far and how often the short sellers will attempt to drive down the stock.
Heck, they may even change their tune and go long – they are in the business of making money, after all.
But regardless of where this stock ends up in the short-term, all I know is that if a deal gets done with a major smartphone maker, or a deal gets done with a big house name optics firm, the stock could shoot to new highs very, very easily.
NexOptic Technology Corp.
Canadian Trading Symbol: TSX-V: NXO
US Trading Symbol: OTCQB: NXOPF
German Trading Symbols: Frankfurt: E301 Berlin: E301
Seek the truth,
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