Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The pocket projector is a reality

Date:
September 14, 2010
Source:
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Summary:
The projector of the future -- one cubic centimeter of technology that can be integrated into a portable computer or mobile telephone -- is about to take the market by storm. Many applications have already been identified, in particular in the automobile industry or the operating theater.

A prototype for a pocket projector for smart phones.
Credit: Image courtesy of Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

The projector of the future, 1 cm3 of technology that can be integrated into a portable computer or mobile telephone, is about to take the market by storm. Lemoptix, a spin-off of EPFL, working together with the Maher Kayal Laboratory, completed its development at the beginning of September. It should be on the market by the end of 2011. Many applications have already been identified, in particular in the automobile industry or the operating theater.

Related Articles


With a projection head of 1 cm3 , and a total size smaller than a credit card, this new mini projector is a real breakthrough. It can be integrated in a portable computer or mobile telephone , or even an MP3 reader, while keeping its bright, high-quality image. This new device will enable the projection of documents and videos onto a wall, in the same way as current fixed beamers. The size of the image can be adjusted simply by modifying the distance between the beamer and the projection surface; the resulting image remains uniformly clear.

Another significant advantage: this projector uses very little energy, requiring on average 30% less current than the matrix- or LED-based technology currently available on the market. This solution, now being finalized, should be available in 2011 for industrial applications, and the following year for consumer electronics, according to Nicolas Abel้, Technical Director of the start-up, located in the EPFL Science Park.

Micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are only beginning to be used as a basis for the next generation of optical material. "This micro-projector functions using tiny mirrors of less than a millimeter's thickness. Positioned on a silicon (wafer) disc, they reflect red, blue and green laser beams," explains Maher Kayal, the EPFL research director who developed the microelectronic aspects of the system. The device, contained in a tiny glass case (3 mm x 4 mm), oscillates so rapidly that the beam can scan a surface up to 20,000 times a second. In August, Maher Kayal's team was able to generate a color image in VGA resolution (640 x 480px) for the first time.

This pocket projector works at a minimum distance of 50 centimeters, and enables the projection of images onto a surface equivalent to a 15-inch screen. During the last few months, the Lemoptix team has considerably improved the architecture of the optical head containing the laser light sources and the MEMS mirrors, thereby reducing the size of the whole device and its energy consumption. The manufacturing and assembly processes have also been defined, and the first sub-contractors identified. Moreover, the company succeeded in raising 1.4 million Swiss francs of new funds at the end of August.

This technology has many advantages that will enable it to succeed in the market. "The micro-components used can be manufactured in thousands, even tens of thousands, at low cost," emphasizes Nicolas Abel้. It will be developed from now until end-2011 for industrial applications. For example, it could be used by automobile manufacturers to project information directly onto the windshield, such as speed, GPS information etc. Medical technology companies have already shown an interest: this technology could be used to beam information related to an operation directly onto the patient, and would avoid the surgeon having to lift his head to look at a screen. The improved brightness and contrast will enable it to replace LCD screens. The Lemoptix team is already envisioning the creation of an interactive version; this would allow you to touch the projected image to zoom or change screen.

See the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMWp9CiK2tQ&feature=channel


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). "The pocket projector is a reality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913082525.htm>.
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). (2010, September 14). The pocket projector is a reality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913082525.htm
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). "The pocket projector is a reality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913082525.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins