Vision Group’s shares crashed 23% after the Edinburgh, Scotland- based image-sensitive semiconductor designers warned it was heading for losses this year of more than 1m pounds ($1.7m). It shares its problems with every other company in the forefront of the move from an analog to digital world. No matter how good your products are, your whole future depends not on the scientific principles of how machines exchange data but on the profoundly irrational process by which human beings agree to exchange information. In Vision’s case, it is lumbered primarily by the industry’s failure to agree a videoconferencing standard. This is a shattering set-back because, for the moment, Vision has a formidable lead in technology. While its rivals opted for CCD charged coupled device technology to convert images to electronic charges, it opted for CMOS complementary metal oxide on silicon which enabled it to integrate both sensing and processing an image on a single chip. So it is able to achieve a resolution of 800,000 pixels whereas other digital cameras are struggling around 300,000 pixels. However, Toshiba Corp is now onto CMOS technology and, while Vision has an impressive lead which it aims to keep, the Japanese giant has millions of dollars to throw at the problem while Vision’s income is held back while it waits for the market to take off. Vision is optimistic that its technology is still forging ahead but it can only stay that way if finds a market for its products.