Just 12 months after demonstrating a working prototype of the world’s smallest projector,
Redmond, Wash.-based Microvision is unveiling a full functioning,
self-contained prototype that should be available as a real
product—possibly from Motorola—later this year.
Dubbed SHOW, the lensless PicoP projector is designed for the home
and business use, and uses tiny lasers to shoot a WVGA (848 by 480,
roughly DVD resolution) image on virtually any surface that isn’t a
dark color or textured. It can even project onto curved and uneven
surfaces. So, from a distance of two feet, it could project a two foot
diagonal, full-color image on a white T-shirt. From five feet away, it
could show a five-foot image on, say, a white wall or ceiling.
“It’s a great for-use mode when it comes to spontaneously sharing
content with your friends,” said Russell Hannigan, Microvision’s
Director of Product Management for Consumer Projection Displays.
And while last year’s prototype relied on some peripheral technology
outside the handheld-size projector, SHOW needs no external parts. It
includes a rechargeable battery and can charge and power via USB cable,
Hannigan explained that SHOW is plug and play and should work with any video-out capable devices, including
SHOW is even something of a green product. Hannigan noted that its
three colored lasers turn on only when needed. So unlike the powerful
lamps in standard business projectors which are always on during
operation, SHOW doesn’t need a fan to keep the PicoP-based projector
cool. Also, the lack of a physical lens allows Microvision to make SHOW
as thin or thinner than your standard cell phone. The rechargeable
battery on the prototype lasts about an hour and a half, but Hannigan
expects the final product’s battery to last almost twice as long.
Shipping SHOW projectors could sell for between $200 and $300.
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