US company Microvision says it is perfecting a projector so small that it can be built into mobile phones and which could be available in the second half of 2009.
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Russell Hannigan, Director of Product Management, Microvision Projection Displays says, “…It is all about size, power, and resolution. Through extensive consultations with cell phone companies, we believe the maximum size of any projector must be about 5 cubic centimeters with a 7 mm thickness. Our first prototypes are already very close to these requirements. The main reason why we can achieve such a small package is because PicoP uses just one tiny mirror to “paint” the image, pixel-by-pixel on the screen.”
According to the report, in a darkened room, the prototype beamed out surprisingly bright, crisp and large video from a connected iPod Nano: With the projector held 1.8 meters away from the wall, the image measured 1.8 meters diagonally and was as sharp as a DVD.
According to the company, the technology differs substantially from standard projectors: the unit shines red, green and blue lasers on a rapidly moving, 1-millimeter square mirror, which “paints” the picture line by line, so fast that it blends into one image.
Hannigan said it’s highly energy-efficient and allows the company to dispense with the fans and vents that standard projectors have. The goal for the first projector is a 2.5-hour battery life.
“The two things people are buying now are cell phones and big-screen TVs,” Hannigan said. “This brings those two together.”
3M and Texas Instruments also have prototypes of pico projectors, and may be bringing them to market soon, according to reports.