New Pocket Projectors Show Crisp Images in Bright Rooms

newprojector

Chemists and physicians physicists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena, have produced a projector that consists of a new optical system capable of projecting crisp images even in bright sun-filled rooms.

cubeThe optical system, appearing to be a tiny cube, is only 11mm square and 3mm thick and works by shining a powerful LED lamp through it. And, it’s able to store a large number of pixels within a small space due to advances in both nano and micro technology.

IOF’s Micro-optical systems contain modules and systems constructed of micro optic components, an optical technology that is currently being developed for laser and lighting engineering and optical sensing.

The special thing about the new projection technology is that the image is already integrated in the micro-optics. The pixels measuring just a hundred nanometers or so are stored in a chromium layer under the lens array. Such a microarray has around 250 microlenses, and under each lens there is a microimage. When all of them are projected onto the wall together, a high-quality complete image is produced from an extremely small projector,” – Marcel Sieler, physicist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF ).

projector in bright room
Some of IOF’s lights-on projector prototypes are as small as a book of matches and the technology could potentially be used in devices such as mini-cameras due to its tiny flat design. Of course, we’ve already seen lots of new devices that have tiny projectors built-in like WowWee Technologies’ Cinemin Slice and Swivel.  Samsung’s pocket-sized projector (SP-H03) sports 30-lumens although, in order to view its full 80″ image, both the lights and the shades need to be adjusted to keep out light, the case with most projectors on the market.

The commercial prospects for ultra-flat micro-optical systems are excellent because they open up numerous new applications – like minicameras or miniprojectors.

(Sources: IOF Press Release) (Images: HiddenGarments, Projector Reviews)

Comments

  1. Keith Nealy says

    Is it a static image, or moving video? I don’t quite grasp the concept of each image stored on a micro chip underneath. Does each lens have the same image, or different parts of a larger image? What is the advantage of this “fly’s eye” approach?

    • James says

      Yeah this seems like it’d be a static image according to the description and not a video but maybe we’re missing something? To me this seems to be similar to the technology used for holographic displays but in reverse so maybe this means no focusing is needed? I’m also not quite sure how this makes it brighter than current micro projectors. Seems like the only way to do that would be to make a brighter light.

  2. Ruben says

    I believe the opening line should be physicists not physicians. I agree with Kriss, you shouldn’t call it a cube if you give those dimensions. You could say small plastic “tile” if you want to use a common word to describe it.

    • Avatar of Brodie Beta says

      Hi Ruben,

      Thank you for pointing that out. It was a typo and I’ve updated the post. And yes, it’s not technically a cube however as I’d mentioned to Kriss, at first glance I believe most people would think of a cube. I agree with you though, tile is a better word for the prototype. Thank you for the comments :)

    • Avatar of Brodie Beta says

      Hey Kriss,

      I agree with what you’re saying but at first glance, it reminds me of a cube. In fact, I got a second opinion on it. I asked a friend and his answer was cube as well.

  3. says

    Hello Brodie,
    thank you for a great blogpost.

    That IOF’s lights-on projector would be perfect for movie lovers like myself to see a movie without closing the curtains on a big part of the wall. Can’t wait before this becomes available and affordable. 8)

    Take care,
    nick

  4. says

    Hello Brodie,
    thank you for a great blogpost.

    That IOF’s lights-on projector would be perfect for movie lovers like myself to see a movie without closing the curtains on a big part of the wall. Can’t wait before this becomes available and affordable. 8)

    Take care,
    nick