Audio Pixels is giving you coal at Christmas instead of a world-changing speaker
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It’s a case of another day, another delay for Audio Pixels as the sound engineer says a manufacturing glitch has again pushed out a delivery date for its high-tech mini speaker.
Audio Pixels now expects delivery for a key part of its bleeding edge technology, a new kind of digital speaker that can deliver boom-box sound in a mobile phone, by March next year.
Audio Pixels (ASX:AKP) shares tanked in morning trade, dropping 14 per cent to $15.80 — a big drop from October’s peak of $26.09.
May was the original delivery date for the wafer, a silicon chip which uses MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology and is the foundation of the speaker.
That deadline blew out to an August deadline which became no deadline, all due to different problems or delays in the manufacturing process.
Chairman Fred Bart told investors that testing uncovered a problem with the chips’ internal electrical connections. This affected the device’s power and slowed its response time.
“Thorough investigation traced the imperfection not to the functional viability of the device rather to a rare glitch in what is considered to be a fairly standard fabrication process,” Mr Bart said.
He says the manufacturer has fixed the problem and hopes also to bring the already-made wafers up to speed in three to four weeks.
If the company can successfully steer the product through mass manufacturing, it might be a world-changing innovation.
The technology will produce directional sound — meaning you won’t need headphones when you listen to music on your phone because, when pointed at the right direction, only you will be able to hear the sound.
But Audio Pixels, which is valued at $492 million, doesn’t have a product yet even after after 11 years of planning, fundraising and manufacturing.
The current process is the final stage before commercialisation.
The September quarter saw a cash burn of $1.3 million which went almost entirely on development, but they still had a solid $2 million in cash to fund this quarter’s needs.
With no revenue coming in however, shareholders could be called on again to add to the $16.4 million they’ve already sunk into Audio Pixels to keep the show on the road next year.