This week is CES 2015 and lots of new technology is being shown and demoed every day. The stuff that we’re interested about obviously is the projector technologies, and there were a few notable products announced that are making it look like it will be a great year for Pico projector growth. We’ll be covering all of the cool (and not so cool) products that were announced in the coming blogs but for now we’re going to be covering something that we haven’t seen development on in a while. A Laser Pico projector engine. We’ve seen growth in the laser engines due to they’re popularity in theater applications in full-sized projectors however that growth has not been shared with the Pico side of the market until now.
Don’t get us wrong there have been laser Picos in the past, a few notable ones were the AAXA Technologies L1/L2 and the Microvision SHOWWX mini laser projectors. All three of those projectors had decent brightness and the ability to have complete image focus even on un-even surfaces; however one thing that they definitely do suffer from is low resolutions. Syndiant, the creator of a new laser engine, claims to have a 720p imaging unit ready for use in an LCOS 3-laser engine that can produce a bright, clear, and High Definition image that is in focus at any distance. They also claim that the colors created by the unit will be very close If not “photo quality” and that is definitely something that we’re interested in.
The AAXA L1
The Microvision Showwx
Syndiant is one of the leaders in micro LCOS displays, specifically high definition ones, so the imaging unit that they plan to use with the engine (SYL2271) is no news to the industry however they have teamed up with Cremotech, another leader in the industry dealing in laser engines, to create what is currently the most powerful laser Pico engine on the market.
An LCOS imaging unit
Lasers have pros and cons to the LED engines mostly though it comes down to size and cost. The LED engines tend to run larger as the LED diodes must be large to create as much light as they do therefore the actual unit needs to be larger where the Laser diodes can be very small but also much more expensive than LEDs. The lasers fit into the imaging unit at a surprisingly small size of 50.5 mm by 48.1 mm by 19.85 mm, which can allow for extremely small units in the future.
A laser diode used in Pico Projectors, compared to the eye in a sewing needle.
One of our favorite improvements made by Cremotech is the “speckle-free” laser engine. For those of you who have used a laser projector before they tend to have a glitter and sometimes what looks like dead pixels as the laser unit is creating the image. Cremotech claims to have created a technology that can avoid this, allowing for an LED quality image while still being a fraction of the size.
The difference between a regular laser engine and a speckle free engine.
Unfortunately that’s about all the information we have on the new engine coming from the Syndiant/Cremotech partnership, right now this is looking like it will be a lower cost unit allowing for a Pico somewhere in the $300-$500 range which isn’t too bad considering some LED models are still over $500. Syndiant has not released production dates on the engine yet however we’re guessing that you’ll start seeing this engine in full production by next year or early 2017. We’ll keep you guys updated as more information on engines like this come out and we’re definitely excited to see if any competing engines come out of the woodwork because that only means more Laser Pico projectors.