Mini-projectors -- maximum performance

May 20, 2010
Marcel Sieler analyzed ultraslim array projectors, realized an initial prototype and thereby opened up the path to the new mini-projectors.

(PhysOrg.com) -- The number of mini-projector devotees keeps growing. The combination of a new kind of optical structure with high-performance LEDs enables completely new compact and brilliant lighting and projection systems.

Almost no public presentation today is made without projectors. As the years pass, these devices keep getting smaller - and handier. A market with immense growth potential: According to estimates, by 2012 up to 45 million units are expected to sell worldwide. The miniature projectors have to deliver sharp contrasts and clear colors.

In his thesis project, "Design and realization of an ultraslim array projector," Marcel Sieler of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena, Germany, developed the bases for an entirely new kind of design in order to realize mini-projectors.

In all current systems of pocket projectors, a single imaging channel is used. This means a minimal size for the projector is a given - and smaller will not work. Except for Marcel Sieler: His construction method relies on a number of regularly ordered micro-lenses - an array - as the projection lens. Thanks to the many channels, the construction length of the entire system can be clearly reduced, without impeding luminosity. A high-performance LED is used as the light source.

In order to achieve this result, Sieler initially tested and adapted the theoretical basis for the construction of a micro-lens array. He then devised a corresponding system that was characterized in laboratory experiments and tested for its capacity. Within nine months, Marcel Sieler transformed his idea into the first prototypes. With these, he could display the immense potential of the concept with which both static as well as mobile image contents can be projected. This project required competence in optical design, in microsystem technology - as well as in project management, strength of purpose and personal commitment. Based on Marcel Sieler‘s work, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was able to apply for a basic patent for this new kind of optical system.

Explore further: Perfect projections on surfaces of any shape

Related Stories

Perfect projections on surfaces of any shape

August 29, 2007

Projecting brilliantly sharp images as a single picture onto curved surfaces has previously been a very elaborate and expensive process. Now a new software system automatically calibrates the projectors needed so that the ...

Measuring in 3-D

April 16, 2008

Today, complex optical free-form geometries are used primarily in car headlamps and in optics for cameras and digital projectors. These optical components are expensive to manufacture and to test. At Hannover-Messe on April ...

World's Highest-Resolution Projector

May 26, 2009

If one were to stack 16 of the world's best high-definition projectors side-by-side (and on top of each other), the combined image projected would contain 33 megapixels. This is the resolution achieved by the world's highest-resolution ...

Mini beamer in a cellphone or PDA

June 2, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Looking at photos on a cellphone display can be somewhat arduous. A new mini beamer will make it easier. The beamer is so small that it can be integrated in a cellphone or a PDA. As it does not need an extra ...

3D TV -- Without the Glasses (w/ Video)

October 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Even with "active shutter" 3D technology for television sets, the wearing of special glasses is still required in order to get the proper experience. They aren't those red and blue or red and green 3D glasses ...

Osram LEDs for Mini Projectors

March 4, 2010

New, particularly high-performance light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from Osram make it possible to build mini projectors. These LEDs produce enough light to project images measuring over one meter in diagonal on a wall. The small, ...

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.