January 3, 2008 There is an inherent contradiction in the quest for smaller mobile devices - as the units themselves shrink in size, so too does the available screen area, making viewing a challenge for even the most eagle-eyed consumers and turning the "convenience" of portability on its head. Microvision will display a stand-alone prototype device at the upcoming CES in Las Vegas that embraces the clearest solution - image projection - by providing home theater-sized viewing from mobile phones, PDAs, PMPs, digital cameras and laptops.
Known as SHOW™, the full-color laser pico projector is a PDA-sized, fully self-contained, battery operated unit based on the company’s single micro-mirror laser scanning display technology. SHOW connects directly to laptops, mobile phones, portable media players, digital cameras and other mobile devices to project high-resolution, always-in-focus images and video from 12 inches (30 cm) to 100 inches (2.5 m) in size onto any surface.
Microvision says that SHOW can project a widescreen, WVGA (848 X 480 pixels), DVD quality image and the production version of the device is expected to offer approximately 2.5 hours of continuous battery life, sufficient to watch a full-length movie without a need for recharging.
The stand-alone device utilizes the company's 7 mm thick PicoP display engine which also has the potential to be embedded directly into mobile consumer products.
“Consumers want better display solutions that will enrich their experience in watching TV, videos and movies, in playing games, and in browsing the web from their cell phones and other mobile devices,” says Alexander Tokman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microvision. “While mobile multi-media subscription services are on the rise, handset manufacturers, content providers and service providers view tiny cell phone displays as a barrier to stronger consumer adoption of their products and services. With Microvision’s SHOW you could view and share everything ranging from YouTube videos, MSN newscasts, and Google search results to PowerPoint presentations, feature-length films, and family photos in a large, full-color, hi-resolution format instead of a 2-inch, QVGA display.”
The release of a commercial product is targeted for the end of 2008. Demonstrations of SHOW will be held during CES (7-12 January 2008), and again at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona in February 2008.
Texas Instruments is also moving steadily towards commercialization of miniature projection devices with manufacturers Sypro and Young Optics showing prototypes of their pico-projection systems based on TI's Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology at the 2008 CES. The company sees the future for DLP pico-projectors in either a standalone format (as per the Microvision unit) or as integrated modules in handheld devices.