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Coming soon: Picoprojectors

Posted: 27 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:picoprojector  laser  combiner optics 

Microvision spokesman Matt Nichols disclosed the company will ship limited quantities of its picoprojector engine toward the end of this year, with volume quantities following in 2009 "as the supply chain starts to build up."

A prototype of a picoprojector based on the engine, dubbed "Show," was demonstrated at the CES conference in January. The battery-operated, PDA-size device utilizes small red, green and blue lasers as light sources, whose outputs are merged into a single light stream by combiner optics and then scanned across a surface by a MEMS mirror to project a full color image.

The initial picoprojector applications will be "accessory projectors," said Nichols, small handheld devices that allow users of cellphones, personal media players, digital cameras and other mobile equipment to enlarge and share the contents of their screens with others.

But the "gorilla application," he said, will be embedded projectors that are integrated into the equipment itself. The engine is about 5cc in volume and, at 7mm thick, about as thin as "a thin mint chocolate candy," according to the company.

Microvision's engine projects a wide-VGA (848x480-pixel) format image on any desired surface, with an image size between 12 and 100 inches in diagonal, depending on distance from the surface. Battery operating life is specified at 2.5hr.

- David Lieberman
EE Times

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