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  • Petite Projectors Coming Soon

Photonics Spectra
May 2008
Michael A. Greenwood

People already converse, e-mail, watch movies, listen to music and play games with any of a number of miniaturized electronic gadgets that can be held discreetly in the palm of one’s hand.

What could possibly be next? How about microprojectors.

Petite projectors are currently in development and could be commercially available by year’s end. You will be able to plug them into cell phones or portable media players, allowing videos to be projected onto virtually any surface, anywhere, anytime. No more movies on a 2-in. screen.

Imagine the possibilities. Being stranded at the airport with children no longer has to be a parental nightmare. Kids can find a wall in a quiet corner and create their own private movie theater. Executives who need to give an impromptu presentation can do so with equipment carried in their pocket.

No more digital projectors, those monster contraptions that must be carted about. The new breed of microprojectors will use either LEDs or lasers, or a combination of the two, to transmit an image as large as 60 in. in darkened areas. The projectors will attach to a cell phone or other device with a standard cable. Samsung and Iljun DSP, both of South Korea, are two of the companies working on prototypes.

Future generations of cell phones are likely to come with projectors built in, much the same as built-in cameras are.

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