Monday, June 6, 2011

Computex 2011: The rise of mobile projectors

ndustry leading firms Acer, Asustek, and ViewSonic have been entering the market for micro and mobile projectors to showcase mobile projecting systems with brightness up to 200 lumens.

According to Japan-based Techno System Research, the market size for micro projectors will expand to 70 million units worldwide by 2015. Pacific Media Associates, stated the global annual output value of micro projectors will reach US$1.76 billion by 2014. Liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) micro projector component manufacturer, Syndiant, also predicted the annual shipment of micro projectors to reach beyond 100 million units in four years.

Although the market has not been expanding as fast as expected, many firms are still optimistic about growth. Firms such as Taiwan-based BenQ, Optoma, Aiptek, Vivitek, and South-Korea based Samsung all have been developing micro projector applications.

There are two types of micro projectors: independent projection systems with a single projector and embedded module types for handsets and mobile devices. The former type is bigger in size and can connect to other systems for integrated use. It is predicted for single type micro projectors to grow over 3.1 million units by 2012.

As for the embedded module type projectors, energy consumption, size, brightness, and price all need to be improved and adjusted. Once the adjustments have been made, sales are expected to explode and exceed the sales of single type projectors by 2013.

The brightness of the projectors, life-span of batteries, and high prices have been problems for micro projectors.

Firms such as Acer, Asustek, and ViewSonic have been improving these problems and are showcasing their latest LED micro projectors at Computex 2011. All three firms adopt digital light processing (DLP) technology from Texas Instruments to increase brightness up to 200 lumen. The size of LED micro projectors is slightly larger than other pocket projectors and they need an external connection to a notebook or other device to lower the weight of the built-in battery.

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