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Tiny projector targets mobile gadgets

Mar 28, 2008 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 7 views

Microvision will showcase a tiny laser projector — small enough to be embedded in a mobile phone — at the CTIA Wireless show next week in Las Vegas. The company claims its mobile pico-projector technology produces highly focused DVD-quality WVGA (848×480 pixels) images of up to 100 inches in size (depending on distance).

Typical pico-projector embedded application

Unlike the mobile phone application illustrated above, the current prototype device, codenamed SHOW, is a dedicated handheld full-color laser projector accessory that can be used with laptops, mobile phones, portable media players (PMPs), digital cameras, and other mobile devices, according to the company.

The SHOW prototype is claimed to project high-resolution images and video onto “any surface.” Furthermore, the resulting images — which can range from 12 inches to 100 inches in size, depending on distance — “are always in focus,” says the company. When it reaches production, the device is expected to offer 2.5 hours of continuous battery operation.

SHOW is based on Microvision’s PicoP display engine, illustrated below. PicoP is 7mm thick and occupies approximately 5cc of volume, according to the company.

PicoP and its MEMS scanning mirror
(Click image to enlarge)

The PicoP display engine consists of a silicon component, three lasers (red, green, blue), a combiner lens, and a scanning mirror. An animated presentation explaining how the display engine works is available on Microvision’s website, here.

Click on the following image to watch a short YouTube video demonstration of Microvision’s PicoP-based “SHOW” prototype pico-projector accessory in action:

Further information about the PicoP pico-projector is available on Microvision’s website.

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