3M MPro 110
Laptops, cellphones and other portables can shrink only so far before their displays are unusable. 3M decouples screen size from gadget size with the first micro-projector. It can show 50-inch-diagonal images in a dark room and 10-inch images under bright light. The tech debuts bundled with a one-hour battery in the handheld MPro110. By next year, 3M expects to squeeze the projector (itself the size of a matchbox) into cellphones, MP3 players and other gadgets.
3M beat other companies in the pocket-projector race by refining a well-known design instead of developing exotic technologies such as miniature lasers. Like many tabletop projectors, this model uses a set of prisms to direct light from a lamp onto an imaging chip that sets the color and intensity of each pixel in the projection. But rather than using separate lenses around the prisms, 3M molded prisms with rounded edges that act as built-in lenses. To keep power and size down, the projector's lamp is a one-watt LED with a special lens to concentrate the light beam so that none of it goes to waste.
The 5.4-ounce MPro110 has inputs for laptops, digital cameras and cellphones to display video at standard-definition-TV quality (640 by 480 pixels). So it's not only a great tool for business presentations, but also the cheapest giant-screen TV. $360; 3m.com
Ideas, thoughts, suggestions and questions about Best of What's New 2008? Post them in the BOWN2008 forum. If you have questions, Popular Science editors will answer them there!
the LCoS chip 3M is using 1st has to be made smaller to go into cell phones. (Himax's LCoS - i think 3m is using)
Aurora Systems has the smallest LCoS chip i've seen posted for cell phone use.
But i have not seen it inside anything yet! CES might give us insight on this.
the only spec size i've seen that 'major cell phone makers' have stated (via microvisions CEO) say they want the projector to be no more then 7mm in thickness.
confirmed thru past CC.
3m may say they are working on a cellphone size projector. but what are the spec as to the to sizes the major cell phone companies actual say they require to go inside a cell phone.
once this info becomes common news. we will see better articles stating the truth about going into cell phones and when to expect these products coming out.
also note 3m uses a focusing wheel. 3m doesn't give the modules spec sizes including the wheel!
and the diagonal of the LCoS chip will also keep the focusing lens large. thus another thickness problem!