Thursday, June 07, 2012

Oryon Technologies (ORYN) Lights Up With ELastoLite

I got a mailing from Mike Casson's MicroCap MarketPlace newsletter touting Oryon Technologies (ORYN), maker of a fancy wearable lighted fabric called ELastoLite.  It's the stuff that lit up characters' costumes in the 2010 film Tron:  Legacy.

ELastoLite is a pretty cool technology.  My concern with exotic, boutique technologies like this is that they perform a function already performed by cheaper alternatives.  Reflective material can be coated, printed, or woven into surfaces without the added cost of drawing electric power.  LED lights already do the kinds of things this wearable light strip is supposed to do for cell phones and small lamps.  I can see the appeal of using this stuff in high-end fashion but the industrial safety market is pretty well saturated with existing materials.  Hard-core Tron fans who want to make replica costumes are willing to pay for individual orders of ELastoLite, so all the company has to do is accommodate them.

The financials are disappointing so far.  ORYN has made no money since 2009 and has negligible assets.  The good news is that the CEO has a background in sportswear merchandising, a likely market segment for ORYN's main product.  At least they have a patent portfolio for their stuff.

ORYN's Form 10-K filed in May 2012  has a couple of odd elements.  Note 4 mentions that they acquired a mineral claim in the Philippines at an impaired cost that contributes to their operational losses.  Playing odd games with things unrelated to selling light-up apparel is a distraction.  Note 9 raises questions about whether they can continue as a going concern given their lack of working capital.  

I can't say whether Oryon has glowing prospects but I'm kind of rooting for them to do something with this glowing material they've created.  The cool factor of wearable lighting is off the charts.  It just needs to piggyback on a product already accepted as cool.  Sell some Tron-inspired jackets to the crowd that attends raves, urban night clubs, and Burning Man.

Full disclosure:  No position in ORYN at this time.