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The Miniaturization of Projectors (subscription req'd)

By Roger Cheng
Word Count: 797 | Companies Featured in This Article: Microvision, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Apple, Corning

For people who can't resist showing off their family-vacation photos, the development of new high-tech lasers may allow cellphones to project pictures and videos on the wall like an old-fashioned slide show.

Business users might also find such a cellphone feature handy, enabling them to project a PowerPoint slide presentation or videos onto a large, flat surface.

Microvision Inc. unveiled a working prototype of the tiny projector at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month in what it hopes to be a lucrative new business for the maker of scanning technology. The company plans to sell a projector ...


At January 27, 2007 at 10:44 AM Anonymous said...

What is microvision's position regarding laser safety? Here is an interesting comment posted at :

"Eye safety is also a problem with these projectors. Microvision has a CLASS 3R laser warning on their demo ("Avoid Exposure")"

Wouldn't this make it difficult to deploy?

At January 27, 2007 at 11:47 AM Ben said...


Thanks for writing. Microvision's goal is to be the leader in laser projection displays for consumer devices -- and also to be a leader in laser safety. Our initial 'thin mint' unit shown at CES for demo purposes is Class 3R. We'll be integrating a new wide-angle scanner, as well as a new proximity sensor and will be showing a Class 2 version of PicoP by the middle of this year.

Overview of the laser classification scheme

"Class 2 laser products are defined as those emitting visible light for which the natural aversion response to bright light (including the blink reflex) prevents retinal injury, including direct viewing of the laser beam with optics that could concentrate the laser output into the eye. These lasers do, however, present a dazzle hazard."

The warning label on a Class 2 product says "Do Not Stare Into Beam."

Not too different from how you might expect to use a regular projector.

At January 27, 2007 at 12:06 PM Anonymous said...


So how would this fare for Color Eyewear. I was previously under the impression that the laser beam would be scanned directly on the retina of the viewer?

At January 27, 2007 at 6:44 PM Ben said...

that's not exactly accurate. I can't say too much other than the product we're designing is intended for all day, everyday usability.

At January 28, 2007 at 6:04 AM Anonymous said...

Hi Ben,
Is there any way to use this same engine to drive the small display that will still need to be part of the phone? If there is, how actively is MVIS working on it?

At January 31, 2007 at 7:59 PM Anonymous said...

Check out this interesting article comparing the iPhone to Windows Media 5, and modern smart phones.

>iPhone - Already an Outdated Technology????

At January 31, 2007 at 8:15 PM Ben said...

thanks for the link!!! that's pretty close to brilliant stuff.

At February 1, 2007 at 4:05 AM Anonymous said...

so how does the MVIS technology stack up against offerings from explay and light blue optics?

At February 1, 2007 at 5:45 AM Anonymous said...

the other companies don't have ANYTHING approaching MVIS technology. they are good for a laugh though.


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