There's always been a lot to love about a pico projector. A palm-sized device that can port video from anything from a laptop to an iPod onto a large projected screen? Sign me up. Until now, though, picos only came is two forms: as a standalone box, or strapped onto the back of a device like a smartphone, rendering the gadget bulky and extremely power inefficient. Enter MicroVision's PicoP Gen2 projector, debuting this week. The PicoP Gen2 is among the smallest pico system we've seen, and it's incredibly power efficient--perfect for embeds in multi-function devices.
Having watched the slow development of pocket projectors for years, I'm thrilled to have not one but two real-life models to play with. 3M's MPro110 ($360) debuted in September and earned a grand award in our Best of What's New roster for 2008. This week, Optoma will start selling the first competing product, its Pico PK-101 projector, for $400.
By Sean CaptainPosted 01.02.2008 at 12:44 pm 0 Comments
Think the iPhones 3.5-inch screen is big? How about a handheld with a 100-inch screen? Thats the promise of Microvisions PicoP laser projector.
By bouncing pulse of red, green, and blue laser light of a vibrating mirror, the PicoP can paint WVGA (848x480-pixel) images up to 100-inches diagonal in a dark room—or about 12 inches under bright lights—on a wall, tabletop or any other surface.
Measuring a scant 0.26 by 0.79 by 1.57 inches, the PicoP is about the size of the original cellphone cameras, and Microvision hopes to make it just as ubiquitous in cell phones and other handhelds.
For starters, though, Microvision will bundle the PicoP with a battery in a separate handheld device, about the size of an iPod—called the SHOW, a prototype that the company debuted today. Microvision says its already inked deals with companies that will sell the SHOW under their own brands before years end. Prices arent set, but spokesman Matt Nichols says they could be made and sold profitably for under $500.
Microvision appears to be leading the slow-paced race with Light Blue Optics and Texas Instruments to bring the first micro projectors to market. Like Microvision, TI did show an early prototype laser projector at last years Consumer Electronics Show. But TI has since decided to switch from lasers to light-emitting diodes for its Pico Projector, and it is not expected to show anything new at the 2008 CES next week.—Sean Captain