[CEATEC] 'We Can Carry Around Projector for Demonstrations'; Explay Unveils Microprojector

Oct 5, 2007
Masao Oonishi, Nikkei Microdevices
Demonstration of the prototype projector with the use of a small blackout curtain
Demonstration of the prototype projector with the use of a small blackout curtain
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Explay Ltd. of Israel unveiled a prototype of its palm-size microprojector named "oio."

Details of the product are being individually provided by Noam Zur, Vice President of Business Development for the company along with other employees at the "Jetro Bizmatch" business talk meeting at CEATEC Japan 2007.

"On our roadmap, the second generation of this projector will be commercialized in 2008-2009," Zur said.

The prototype, about the size of a palm, has a built-in battery. The projector throws a picture by simply inputting a video signal from iPod or other devices. It has a QVGA (320 x 240) resolution and a luminance of 7 lm. The projection looks quite bright with the use of a simple blackout curtain. The images projected on the wall and notebook without the curtain also looks bright enough for users to enjoy watching as long as the picture is about the A4 size.

"We are the only manufacturer that has a battery-powered microprojector capable of projecting such bright images," Zur explained.

The oio projector has a simple structure composed of a 0.24-inch transmissive LCD and an RGB light source, which is the specialty of the product. Semiconductor laser diode is used to emit red and green lights and LED is used for the blue light.

"The blue semiconductor laser diode increases the cost," Zur said. "But the product size cannot be reduced if LEDs are used for all of the RGB lights. The light source is made up of the perfect combination."

Thanks to the adoption of semiconductor laser diode, the product meets Class 1 safety requirements and does not cause a serious damage even if a user looks directly into it, the company said.

"We paid particular attention to the product safety because we are also considering embedding this projector in toys," Zur.

The company removed a certain amount of speckle noise, which is inherent in laser light, by employing a method called Explay Despeckling Technology (EDT). As a result, the flicker on the screen is almost negligible.

The second-generation product is about a size of a piece of chewing gum that can be picked up with the tip of the fingers. The optical system is mounted in the front half and the battery and circuit board can be found in the rear.

"The target power consumption is 1 W," Zur said.

Explay thinks that the users' benefit is impaired if the projector is embedded in a mobile phone and uses the handset's battery. Therefore, while regarding mobile phones as the conceivable option for the future, the company plans to promote the projector as a stand-alone device or as a device embedded in personal computers for the time being.