Nuviz HUD (Heads up display) For Motorcycle helmets

A campaign put on Kickstarter in late December 2013 by a company that has a product to make motorcycle riding safer by providing information to the rider via a heads up display or HUD so the rider can keep 100% focus on the road. Nuviz is the first to offer the first product of its kind in the industry and it looks promising as more like it will soon likely follow.

341ea9625a0bce1c2ffc54b89300be2e_original6d7f22d6dd0930a82e48e0fba0ee099c_originalIt’s simply amazing how far projection technology has come and with growing uses for them. First adapted for fighter pilots and eventually making its way into vehicles as a nice feature to keep eyes on the road. Now the tech has found it’s way onto our faces! The unit uses a LCOS Microdisplay to project information onto a small screen that is positioned to the lower right of the helmets visor allowing information to be stationed at the peripherals of the rider.
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Unlike standard projection for home cinemas the HUD is developed to be used in all lighting conditions and seen in the photo above is very visible even in full day light. The controls to the HUD is said to be designed to work with gloves and can be placed wherever the rider feels comfortable using it.

 

 

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The unit connects to your iphone or android device without any wires enabling you to use your navigation, check weather conditions, scroll through music, and check your telemetry  at a glance as you are riding keeping your focus on the traffic for maximum safety. There is even a built in camera so you can take photo/videos of your ride.

Check out this video done by Cycle Sports TV

The campaign reached it’s targeted funding and a year after that at the end of 2014 have not shipped a single unit. We hope that projection technology in the industry will continue to improve.

Epson’s New Budget Friendly HT Models

Epson’s latest trio of projector home entertainment is set to arrive within the upcoming weeks, and with a budget friendly price tag it looks promising. They include some of the best features found on their higher end models.

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The HC 2040 ($799) is a native 1920×1080 3LCD projector with 2D and 3D capability, rated at 2200 lumens. It is basically an improved version of the HC 2030. The contrast rating has been boosted from 15,000:1 to 35,000:1, and quite a bit of the video processing capability of Epson’s more comprehensive home theater models like the HC 5030 have been brought down into this model, including frame interpolation.

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The HD 2045 ($849) is the same projector with wireless capabilities integrated.

 

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The HC 740HD ($649) is native 1280×720 and pumps out 3,000 lumens, so may be suitable for family room home entertainment without the need for a dark cave.

None of these are available for purchase yet hence no reviews can be done, but look out for them in full when we are able to get our hands on them.

Pico Projector Buying Guide

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There are many questions to ask when making a decision on purchasing electronic products. Asking the right questions will lead you to the best option out there for you. What kind of features does it have? What are the specs? And the important question of price. How much should you pay and is it worth the money.

We’ve put together a guide to help clear out some of the fog if you’re considering buying the latest trend in personal projectors. Mini projectors also known as pico projectors and micro projectors is a growing industry and here’s what you should know.

 

Projector technologies

Currently there are 4 different technologies used to make pico-projectors:

  • DLP is using tiny mirrors on a chip to direct light from a LED source. Together with LCoS this is the most popular technology today, used by many companies including Optoma, LG and Samsung.
  • LCoS is a tiny LCD panel (or sometimes 3 panels) that filter light from a LED source. Together with DLP, this is the most popular technology today.
  • Laser-LCoS is the same LCoS filter as above, but the light source is a laser. Lasers are always in focus, and are bright and efficient, however they suffer from Speckle (more on this below)
  • Laser-Beam-Steering is a new technology that uses laser and a tiny mirror (or two) that direct the light, one ‘pixel’ at a time. Because of the laser source, the image suffers from the Speckle effect.

Speckle is “random intensity pattern produced by the mutual interference of a set of wavefronts”. It basically means that there are shiny metallic-like dots visible all over the image, (it’s mostly on static images, videos suffer less). You can see the speckle dots with any laser-pointer as well.

Get the best technology for the best picture. The most important aspect that makes a great mini projector is the image it is able to produce. Look for high resolution projectors and look for high lumens. The higher the lumens the brighter the image.

Features

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If you’re going to be using your LED pico projector for multiple uses like watching videos, looking at pictures, or giving a presentation on it you should be in hot pursuit of a pocket projector with media tools built into it. Having the ability to search for files and go from video to images with onboard tools will make your experience with a mini projector more pleasant.

Other features to look for are Input/Output capabilities. Data is stored in a variety of ways these days and it’s a plus if you’re pocket projector can read and play different file types from different file storage like a flash drive or SD card. An outlet to attach a speaker for better sound quality is also a nice feature to have.

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Other features that you want to consider would be the battery life and the size and weight. Keep in mind that smaller size means less room for features and technology capacity.

Now that you have an idea of what to look for you can start your search for a small projector and there are many to choose from such as AAXA Technologies, Samsung, and Acer which can be found on Amazon.

Say Hello to Writing on Projections

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With the way the world is advancing these days, it’s no surprise that technology continues to expand its reach. TouchJet made a huge leap in the technological realm recently, introducing their ‘Pond’ product, a portable pico projector that has the ability to turn any flat surface into an interactive Android touchscreen. This can have huge implications for business professionals and families alike, as it eliminates the need to invest in large projector screens or interactive whiteboards, which usually cost around the 3k mark. The TouchJet Pond is set to cost roughly $760.  TouchJet has raised nearly $900,000 in pre-sales through the crowd-funding site IndieGoGo in 2014.

How Does It Work?

So, what makes the TouchJet Pond unique? For starters, it has an inbuilt system running Android 4.4, making the interface very familiar for Android users. More importantly, TouchJet aims to remove the need for an HDMI adapter, as they utilize a microUSB port for ease of connection with any Android smartphone. It comes packed with a WVGA resolution (854×480), measuring at 3 x 11 x 10cm, and weighing just 300g. It comes complete with two styluses, components that make possible a virtual touch screen.

Upon projecting the desired content, pressing the stylus onto the projection surface activates the IR transmitter, which then gets decoded and turns the signal into a touch input. Calibrating the receiver using a pre-installed app makes the taps on the projection feel very responsive. Additionally, using other apps that rely on touches (i.e. whiteboard or drawing software) gives users the feel of actually writing.

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Now, it’s important to mention how the interactive features actually operates. The IR receiver relies on line of sight, so users must be cautious to not stand directly in front of the projection source when writing/drawing on the surface. Unfortunately, this means users must stand off to the side, which might create an uncomfortably awkward situation. This can be a slight setback, but another feature overshadows this aspect. If the projection surface is a textured wall, users can still utilize the interactive feature without having contorted lines by pressing a button on the stylus. Users will then be able to hover right above the projection surface without touching it.
The Pond features an 80 Lumen LCD lamp, which is not really the most impressive feature. However, TouchJet claims to have placed the product at varying distances from different surfaces and were able to nail down adequate image qualities. They do recommend, however, that users choose a flat, white surface to optimize image quality. It boasts a 20,000 hour lamp life, about four times that of many traditional lamp projectors. There is an economy mode that makes it capable to run for up to two hours. It’s important to note that the brightness level goes down to about 50 Lumens in this setting.
A Bluetooth remote controls the onscreen cursor, while the IR remote emulates keystrokes. Users can also control the Pond using their own Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You will also have the option to connect a regular USB keyboard or mouse into the microUSB port through an included microUSB to female USB adapter.
Additional features are built-in WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity, a microUSB port, miniHDMI, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The internal speakers are not very powerful, so users are advised to acquire a separate Bluetooth speaker.

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Take Away

All in all, the TouchJet Pond is a great alternative to traditional interactive whiteboard systems. However, its limitations come in the form of the lack of brightness, fair resolution, and the limitations of its IR system. However, it is a perfect portable tool for business professionals and families seeking a great interactive multimedia experience. Although it is a revolutionary product that is taking steps in the right direction, it remains to be seen whether or not other electronics powerhouses will follow in their footsteps.

Imagine a World with No More Adapters

Do you ever find yourself annoyed with the fact that you have to buy additional accessories and complementary tools to maximize the use of a product? For example, purchasing a projector doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you can open it right out of the box and display whatever you want. Often times consumers will find that they need additional cables and adapters to display a projection from their electronic devices. Sure, projectors these days come in compact sizes and are very portable, but the fact that the inputs require users to have an adapter of some sort readily available poses a red flag for some. Most pico projectors today have HDMI inputs, which then require adapters if users are to display multimedia content from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. In a way, this can defeat the purpose of convenience, and ultimately introduces a problem with the product’s pitch.

It seems as though Asus understands this issue, as they recently introduced their latest product–the E1Z, an LED projector that links to an Android device solely through a microUSB connection. They’re calling this “the world’s first.”

 

What To Expect

Interestingly, Asus has not yet revealed intricate specs such as the brightness, resolution, and the product’s availability. What we do know is that it boasts a 100% NTSC color gamut and a full RGB color spectrum support, both of which should create a vivider video-watching and game-playing experience. It can also serve as a 6,000 mAh charge station, as it has a rechargeable battery. The E1Z will most likely be around $200, as informed by Engadget.

The real question here lies in how the E1Z compares to its competitors. Yes, it does feature a microUSB connection, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a revolutionary product. Sure, it provides users with an easy connection method, but users can get a substantially better experience with a different product using an HDMI adapter.

Assuming the E1Z is sold at $200, Asus looks to be putting out an affordable and easy-to-use projector for the traveling family or the entertainment enthusiast. It’ll definitely be a product worth experimenting with. Whether or not other competitor companies will follow in Asus’ direction of developing an adapter-free projector remains to be seen!

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Lenovo announces standalone Pico projector after Yoga Tablet Pro 2

Lenovo, known as the worlds largest manufacturer of personal computers surprised everyone a few months ago with the release of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet Pro 2, a 13″ oddly shaped tablet with a pico projector built right into it.

lenovo-tablet-yoga-tablet-2-pro-13-inch-android-front-side-projector-5Although the idea was cool it didn’t receive the best response due to the quality of the projection and the ease of use for the projector.  Since it could not alter it’s position the projector had to be positioned so that the tablet was horizontal (as shown) to be able to project.  Although the angle looks like it would be easy to use the tablet at, it was just a bit too inclined and we felt like you had to be sitting almost completely over the tablet to get anything done.  Due to it’s size, the projector did not have a very high output, but that is expected as it is shoved into a small cylinder with no cooling.  Either way kudos to Lenovo for venturing on this product so that we could see just another plausible way for pico projector technology to be integrated into other products.

That being said, make way for Lenovo’s latest venture into pico projector technology, simply dubbed the “Lenovo Pocket Projector” this little projector is making big waves as Lenovo’s second ever projector product.

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Although only a few comparison images have come out we can tell just by looking at it that it’s definitely a small product.  Lenovo claims that it is something that is going to fit into a jacket pocket or even some larger pants pockets so its definitely a tiny product.

One of the main features that sets it apart from other picos is the fact that it can angle the portion of the unit with the lens on it up to 90 degrees for viewing from any angle.  We’ve seen similar things done with stands and tripods but never something directly integrated into the unit.

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They have also posted that the unit will output 50 lumens and have a native resolution of 854×480 which are not the most impressive specs we’ve ever seen but its definitely a good starting point.  It includes a built in DLNA and MHL functionality which gives you the ability to hook up to almost any android device available, mainly though the thing that we’re really impressed with is the battery life.  For a unit this size we generally see battery life as something that is compromised due to size constraint issues.  Not so with the Lenovo, it can put out up to 2.5 hours of projection on a single charge meaning that for the average business professional it can do multiple meetings without ever needing to be plugged in.

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The other features of the projector are very standard, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, and two .5 watt speakers give this projector just about the same feature set as any other pico you could purchase and for a premium price.  At $250 you could definitely purchase a more powerful pico projector.

Our final verdict on the Lenovo Pico Projectors?  It’s a good start, however they’re going to need to get to a point where they have more competitive prices and are up to date on the technologies being used in current projectors.  Once they get that down we think that Lenovo will be a great addition to the Pico Projector market and are excited to see what else they are going to release in the near future.

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Celluon PicoPro Projector

Every so often at led-projectors.net we like to take a look at the “other side” of projection, typically laser.  This is one such article.

The Celluon PicoPro is as portable as carrying an additional smartphone, so, pretty portable.

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It’s a half-inch thick flat form with rounded corners, which gives is a sleek appearance and makes it look like a pretty stylish device.  The only thing that really bothers us is that it looks like the projector is “modular”, meaning the 2 parts look like they should come apart for expansion.

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As far as simplicity, the unit is very minimal in buttons and design, with only a few buttons on the unit itself.  Inputs are very minimal as well, with a MicroUSB for OTG usage, and a Micro-HDMI which can be easily converted to full-HDMI with a cable.

The performance is really what makes this an awesome projector though, with laser projection there is no need to focus, and it gives you great color quality.

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Overall we think this is a great product for anyone needing a quick and easy projection with a stylish looking case.

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Innocube Art, the first pico designed for kids?

Innoio is a projector company that is most known for their popular product, the Innocube.  Recently the company announced that they would be releasing a new version of the Innocube called the “Art”.  The new unit basically is the regular Innocube but in a tougher colorful casing that resembles a Rubix cube.

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As far as aesthetics go we think that the Innocube is on the top end.  The unit’s are sleek, simple, and just look good in general.  Their small package is impressive as is their performance considering it can fit in the palm of your hand.  However, looks are not everything and just like every other product out there the Innocube has it’s share of issues that should be noted before making a purchasing decision.

The first thing we’d like to mention is the brightness, for the size of the unit it seems totally appropriate but any way you spin it 40 lumens just isn’t a lot.  The unit would definitely need to be used in dim to very dark conditions for it to produce a usable image.  The native resolution leaves a bit to be desired as well.  Running at 640×480 it has a resolution similar to a common television from the early 2000’s, especially when there are picos out there with a native resolution of 1920×1080.  However again for it’s size its understandable and for many who just want a quick way to watch a movie on a wall while camping or just while a TV isn’t available its still completely usable.

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The unique shape of the projector also helps as it can be easily rotated to any position needed for comfortable use.  Such as pictured above, it can easily be set on its back and used for ceiling projection.  The unit also includes a special tripod that can hold the cube shaped unit for even more precise positioning.

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As far as connectivity goes the projector is very compatible but does use proprietary connections for most of it’s video output which can make it more of a hassle to connect certain devices.  The ports are all located on the side of the unit as to not interfere with positioning as is the focus wheel for easy operation without having to pick up the unit.

Lastly, the price, we honestly think that for a unit with these specs the price is just too high for a unit like this.  Yes it looks cool and is very functional, it’s just that you can get a unit with far better specifications for the same price than you can one of these.  The Innocube currently retails at $299 which for some may be worth it however for us we just can’t justify the price.

Check out this video from Innoio’s website showcasing some of the uses of the Innocube:

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AIPTEK releases a new projector tablet to compete with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet Pro 2

AIPTEK, a small electronics company that generally produces pico projectors has recently released a new product that is out of the norm for their business, a tablet projector called the P70.

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This is an interesting development in AIPTEK’s product line as previously they were known for cases for phones that included small projectors or also standalone pico projectors.  The company has not previously developed a tablet or a device with a fully integrated pico projector yet but honestly the P70 seems like a good start.

The built in projector is a DLP unit capable of 50 lumens and a resolution of 854×480 which are almost the same specs available in the Lenovo Yoga Tablet Pro 2 and is accomplished im a much smaller package.

The actual P70 tablet has a 7″ capacitive touch screen running at a resolution of 1024×600 which isn’t the highest we’ve seen on a 7″ tablet, for instance the popular Nexus 7 runs at 1920×1200.  It also sports a Quad Core cpu, 16GB of internal storage, and a 5mp rear camera making this device straight average with other tablets in its size and price class.

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Right now the P70 is so new that there aren’t very many reviews out on it and we haven’t even been able to get our hands on one to test as they’ve been out of stock since launch on Amazon.

If you’re interested in a tablet and are also looking at pico projectors or some way to share your tablets screen then the P70 is definiately a great and economical option to the Lenovo Yoga Tablet Pro 2.

The retail price of the P70 is currently: $369

Here is a link to it’s amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OV36Z5G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00OV36Z5G&linkCode=as2&tag=picoprojector-20&linkId=RZ7HLBIMIRXNM2F6

We’ll be covering more on this device as more information comes out on it and hopefully we can get our hands on one so that we can do an in-depth review.

Syndiant Selected by Cremotech and SK Telecom for it’s Laser HD Pico Projector

Syndiant is a leader in pico projector engines, they make engines for pretty much all of the major companies out there, 3M, AAXA, etc.  At CES last week they announced a partnership with Cremotech, which is a Korean company who is working on a few technologies for mobile devices.

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Cremotech has chosen the Syndiant SYL2271 HD Laser Panel, which is a triple-laser engine delivering 720P brightness.  The laser engine also offers the functionality of being focus-free, meaning a user does not need to focus the projector at all.

The Syndiant engine is also labeled as “Speckle-free”, in older laser engines, you would notice some amount of Speckle on the image due to it being a laser.  Newer engines have reduced the amount of this on the image and now can provide a pretty great image.

We’re hoping this leads to other companies picking up laser again, as we think the ability to have infinite focus is a pretty great benefit, and an added convenience for customers.  We’re hoping that Cremotech releases something using this engine later this year, once it’s out we’ll definitely be taking a better look at it.