Mobile projector makes interactive display

A tiny projection engine that turns tables into touchscreens will be available to OEMs later this year. Light Blue Optics (LBO), headquartered in Cambridge, UK, unveiled the touch-enabled pico projector earlier this month at a Society for Information Display meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

The holographic laser projection technology creates video and still WVGA – QVGA images.

LBO’s holographic projection calculates a diffraction pattern of the 2D image using the company’s patented holographic algorithms. This is displayed on a phase-modulating Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) microdisplay and when illuminated by coherent laser light the 2D image is projected.

The image produced will be ten lumens or more, depending on the content shown. As the technology is laser-based, images remain in focus at all distances from the projector and the need for a focus wheel is eliminated.

LBO’s proprietary technology has an ultra-wide throw angle and the ability to correct for optical aberrations using software. These features enable LBO’s miniature projection systems to switch between conventional front projection onto a wall and a table-down projection mode where the device is placed on a table and the content is projected down onto the surface in front of it. The user is then able to view and share content in a comfortable way, without needing to hold the projector steady in their hand for extended periods of time. An additional product configuration allows the user to control the projector and interact with multimedia content simply by touching the projected image. Any flat surface such as a table can be instantly transformed into a touch-sensitive display, eliminating the need for a touch screen and opening up exciting new opportunities in device, application and user-interface design.

Dr. Chris Harris, CEO of Light Blue Optics, said, “LBO’s projection technology delivers all the benefits of a laser system such as vibrant colours and focus-free operation, whilst maintaining a Class 1 laser safety classification - essential to most consumer electronics applications. The combination of touch technology and table-down projection allows users to interact with multimedia content in new and exciting ways.”