Motorola, Microvision promise projectors
What sort of things can you expect in
a state of the art mobile? WiFi? Yes. 3G? Certainly.
GPS? Sometimes. But Motorola's new deal with US firm
might soon add a new gadget - a tiny projection system.
Microvision is already a specialist
in laser technologies and pico-sized projectors, but
this new tie-up is an ambitious attempt to place a viable
projector inside a "mobile device". The prototype
is slated to be a 854x480 pixel resolution unit based
on their "PicoP"
platform. It sounds like a pipedream, but the technology
has already been demonstrated in May this year, using
a laser-based technology.
The benefits are clear for both companies
- Microvision would increase its market, but more crucially
Motorola would have access to a "killer technology"
that its competitors lack. A quick poll around the Mobile
Gazette office indicates that we think this technology
sounds pretty darned cool and would love to see it in
The advantages are not hard to figure
out - a smartphone could run a PowerPoint presentation
all by itself.. or perhaps the idea of downloading and
watching a movie onto your mobile could at last be feasible
(especially using HSDPA). Or maybe it will find its
way into some sort of add-on, after all Motorola are
pretty good at coming up with innovative phone accessories
(take a look at the HS830
technological challenges here are highly significant. Firstly,
there's the issue of power - a typical mobile phone
has a battery capacity of around 1000 mAh (milliampere
hours), or to put it another way: around the same capacity
as a single AAA alkaline cell. Batteries for portable
projectors are around 4400 mAh, and they tend to drain
the batteries pretty quickly. Secondly, the 854x480
pixel output requires 5 times the memory and processing
power of a 240x320 pixel display commonly found on mobile
phones. And finally there's the question of integrating
all the electronics into a mobile device whilst keeping
the size down to something manageable.
We don't think that this can be done
with today's technology, but this tie-up is about tomorrow's
technology. It's hard to say whether or not this
will be a big seller, but certainly it's worth the effort
for Motorola who could really use a unique selling proposition
such as this to give them a boost.
There's no indication as to when this
partnership might actually come up with a product, but
our guess is that we might see a pico projector in some
sort of mobile handset during 2009. More information
can be found here.