Tired of battery chargers for cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and your laptop computer? Tired of fuel cell hype? Well, Mechanical Technology
The name Mechanical Technology may not make an impression, but the micro-fuel cell partners will. DuPont
Those with a great memory (human, not semiconductor) will remember that Mechanical Technology was featured in March as one of my 3 Great Speculations. With a fuel cell product with no sales, what was there not to like?
Well, three months have passed, and the company is ready for prime time -- that is, orders. The first target market is retail, distribution, and warehousing applications where the fuel cell's long run time and no need for battery changes will fuel (heh) increased worker productivity. Radio frequency identity (RFID) tag readers like those being used in Wal-Mart's
The next target will be the military. Mechanical Technology has the research awards and partnerships that lead to product sales. In the "hurry up and wait" world of the military, the company is poised to deliver rugged, high-capacity fuel cells.
The great consumer mass market, with lots of power-hungry portable electronic devices, is the last targeted market. With miniaturization finished, it is time to get manufacturers on board with offering a fuel cell option. It will take time, but can you see a cell-phone company like Nokia
Mechanical Technology is not alone in this field. Names like Motorola
Those who purchased Mechanical Technology when the shares were originally featured had been treated to a 19% return as of noon today. Not bad for three months! And, as the company gets industrial and military sales -- and moves closer to a mass-market introduction -- its $172 million market capitalization is certainly micro itself.
Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own any stock mentioned.