Archive for the ‘projector’ Category
Fog projectors have been around for ages, but projecting a 2D image onto a wavy field of 3D smoke doesn’t exactly result in the most immersive experience ever. This system from a team at Osaka University is different, relying on three pico projectors all focused on a single column of steam that, as far as we can tell, is dropped down through a slew of multicolored drinking straws. Each projector has a slightly different perspective of the violet hare in question and, as you move about, the fog acts like a parallax barrier, only showing one angle at a time. With a few more projectors and a whole lot more fog the could be even greater. The bunnies, they would be majestic.
Can’t say we really expected to see Texas Instruments’ DLP group here at Mobile World Congress, but it’s hard to deny just how mobile these things are becoming. In fact, the company came to Barcelona to (re)unveil its thinnest, smallest optical engine to date: the nHD Pico. It’s small enough to fit into just about anything — phones, slates, tiny projectors and the rear of your cranium should you choose to embed it there. As for specs? It’s sporting a 640 x 360 resolution, a contrast ratio greater than 1,000:1, a true RGB LED wide color gamut and reliance on a low-power Pico DPP2601 / 2607 ASIC / processor. TI was using a newly launched Acer device (the C20, if we’re being precise) to showcase the chip, and on-site representatives noted that other outfits are developing new kit with this guy in mind. In related news, another gem was on display that hasn’t quite made it to market yet. The palm-sized nugget you see above is a full-on pico projector, designed to be powered entirely via USB. There’s no built-in battery in this one, and no one would confess as to which company (or companies) were gearing up to ship a branded version of it later this year. That said, it’s most certainly on the way, and you can bet we’ll be keeping an eye out for it. Peruse the gallery’s below at your leisure, of course.
Pico projectors just keep shrinking, and a new prototype developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Engineering is helping said shrinking along pretty strikingly. The team has developed a prototype pico which is just 6mm thick, making it the world’s slimmest ever. Better yet, the projected image is 10 times brighter than a pico projector of its size would have previously been — had it existed. The new lens on the projector is so small that it could potentially be integrated into smart phones without boosting size or weight. The new prototype is made of 45 red, green or blue microlenses, each with a 200 x 200 pixel LCD, inspired by a microlens array called a fly’s eye condenser. The resulting resolution is nearly, but not quite, WVGA with 11 lumens of brightness. The prototype will be shown off at Nano Tech 2011 in Tokyo.
[Image credit: Fraunhofer Institute]
Nikon’s done the projector-in-a-camera thing before, but the S1100pj was aimed at the compact digital camera crowd. In what appears to be an effort to take its game to the next level, the company has obtained a Japanese patent for a way to give a DSLR those same mythical projector capabilities. Though the patent’s english detailed description states that images are “projected on the screen of the photographing instrument exterior via the eyepiece of an electronic view finder,” something may have been lost in translation — the drawings show the projection coming out of the camera’s lens, and our hopes and dreams won’t let us see anything else. Regardless of how the thing works, we hope that Nikon puts it into production soon, as we — proud members of the “serious” photo-snapping crowd — would like to share our pics at parties, too. Hit up the source link for the translated patent documents, but be aware that the link won’t work in Chrome (IE or Firefox only) and you’ll need to put in “A” for the Kind code and “2011-10098” in the Number field to get them. What, you thought surfing the world wide web was easy?
This cute, bearmonkey-like creature with animatronic head and arms perched atop a rotating, but otherwise fixed torso is called Robii. He’s built by Compal Communications, the ODM more often associated with handsets, and will be sold under the new UrRobot brand in Taiwan. The 16,900 NTD (about $582) toy robot features an interactive projector tucked away inside of Robii’s circus tent. When extended, it projects interactive video for gaming and infotainment — very similar to the projected multitouch display we saw demonstrated by Light Blue Optics at CES 2010. Robii can track moving objects using its built-in cameras and comes equipped with an ambient light sensor, and voice and image recognition. It’s also capable of barking commands at children with the appropriate visage (from a catalog of 100 facial expressions) to ensure dutiful compliance. Quick demo after the break.