The widespread development in fields communication and integrated circuit technology have resulted in miniaturization of most devices. Most handheld devices are capable of carrying large amount of data. They handle small office documents to high definition movies. But the reduction in size of devices have resulted in reduction of area available for viewing screens. This reduction in size of screens is a barrier in reducing the size of multimedia devices below a particular level. If we can provide enough viewing area without increasing the size of devices then it will provide a better experience for the users. Only way to accomplish this is by incorporating the technology of projectors to handheld devices. But todays projectors are bulky and their size cannot be reduced to meet our requirements. The research in this field have lead to the development of ultraminiature or pico projectors.It is basically extremely small projectors which fit into tiny devices.
First generation of pico projectors produced low quality images and have to be cabled to a computer. Due to these limitations it did not get much recognition from common people. People wanted mobile phones, laptops or portable mp3 player capable of producing big, bright and sharp images or an extremely small projector which is compatible with these devices. The recent developments in this technology seems to satisfy these requirements. We are about to watch next generation pico projectors which will come embedded in cameras, media storage devices and smart phones. Over next few years we will see more products which will use this new technology to its advantage.
Embedded :-The pico projectors which comes embedded inside the mobile devices like camera and mobile phones.
Plug and play:- The projectors which are plug and play compatible with the handheld devices.
Media players:- These types of pico projectors have got internal memory and are capable of carrying images and videos and can be used as media players.
Pico projectors can also be classified according to the technologies used for projection. Four technologies that have been developed for projection at such small level are LCoS[liqud crystal on silicon], DLP[digital light processing], scanning mirror systems or laser beam steering and Holographic projection technologies. Among these technologies LCoS and DLP are used in normal projectors and they have been adapted to meet the requirements at small size. Others are recent developments in this field and have got their own advantages.
Nowadays mobiles and cameras are capable of taking high resolution pictures. But due to the small size of screens we have to plug it into computers to watch it in actual resolution and analysis. Pico projectors can be a solution for this problem. These projector phones will allow us to share photos in mobile phones or cameras with a large audience. We can analyze the photo at the spot of taking and retakes can be carried out if required.
Mobile gaming will be taken to the next level with the advance pico projectors. Full possibilities of handheld projector gaming can be only realized in future. But gaming companies will get a new market and they will explore its possibilities.
Movies and channel broadcasting
Another field which will be benefited from pico projector will be mobile television. A large audience can watch movies or other channel programs from a single mobile device. With advance of 3G and 4G technology mobile broadcasting will become more common and pico projectors can improve its possibilities.