Monthly Archives: December 2013

QP Optoelectronics unveiling new Short Throw Pico Projector at CES 2014

Short throw pico projectors are getting more and more of a standard. People have limited space but want a bigger image at a shorter distance and QP Optoelectronics is set to unveil their new short throw pocket projector at this years Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 in Las Vegas.

QP Optoelectronics Widescreen

 

In just a few weeks, QP Optoeletronics will debut some exciting new developments with their ultra-short throw pico projection technology.  Continuous improvements have resulted in a projection engine that has throw ratios of 0.5 to 0.3.  A typical pico projector will have a throw ratio of 1.4 to 2.2.  This means that a user can produce images that are 3-5 times (or greater) in size from a fixed distance.  This is a critical advantage for a pico projector. James Lupino, QP Optoelectonics’ Vice President of Business Development states, “We believe 2014-2015 is where innovative products will emerge that include our short throw projector as a key enabling component.”QP Opto is targeting both mobile projection, as well as head-up displays (HUD) and mobile eyewear, where greater throw ratio and high brightness are beneficial.  We look forward to seeing these latest advancements from QP Optoelectronics and will publish any new developments here, at Picopros.com!

[www.picopros.com]

LED Pico Reviewed by PCMag.com

Last week on the PC Magazine’s website they reviewed the AAXA LED Pico. The MSRP is priced at $149 but everywhere is has them for only $119. It a small traveling projector with a high native resolution and rated at 25 lumens. Here’s what M. David Stone of PCMag.com had to say about the AAXA LED Pico.

 

  • PROS –Supports MHL connections to smartphones and other devices. Reads files from microSD cards and USB memory keys.
  • CONS – Laughably low volume. No VGA input.
  • BOTTOM LINE – The Aaxa LED Pico projector isn’t very bright and doesn’t connect to a computer VGA port, but it is bright enough to be useful and it connects to smartphones and tablets with MHL.

Similar in many ways to the Aaxa P2 Jr.$189.99 at Amazon, the Aaxa LED Pico projector offers even better shirt-pocket size portability. Rated at 25 lumens, it isn’t as bright as the P2 Jr., but it’s also less expensive, and it delivers a higher resolution, at 960 by 540 or exactly one-quarter the pixels of 1080 HD. Most important, like the P2 Jr., it enhances its portability by including a mini-HDMI port. That makes it a potentially good choice for projecting images from a smartphone or tablet that supports MHL.

At 0.7 by 2.4 by 4.3 inches (HWD), the LED Pico is about the same size as the AAxa P2 Jr., and a touch lighter at 5 ounces. Unlike the Aaxa P2 Jr., however, it doesn’t need the power block that effectively adds to the P2 Jr.’s size and weight. You only need to carry a short USB charging cable, which you can plug into any USB port or USB charger. And it can be the same cable and charger you’re already using for your phone.

 

Probably the best way to fully appreciate the LED Pico’s level of portability is to realize that it’s a touch lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S III that I regularly carry in my shirt pocket. It’s also noticeably shorter in two out of three dimensions, and a little more than twice as thick. If I were carrying both, I’d want to enlist a second pocket, but I could fit both in the same pocket if I had to: It’s that small.

Basics and Setup
Unlike most pico projectors, the LED Pico is built around an LCoS, rather than DLP, chip. Beyond that, it shares the typical design of using an LED light source that’s meant to last the life of the projector, with a 15,000-hour rating in this case. The 960-by-540 resolution is unusual for any projector today, but at one quarter of 1,920-by-1,080—or one half in each direction—it lets you show 1080 HD video or 1,920-by-1,080 computer output with minimal scaling artifacts.

Setup is standard for a pico projector, including the initial step of connecting the charging cable to the projector and a USB port or charger to let the battery charge. According to Aaxa, a fully charged battery is good for 80 minutes. Very much on the plus side, it actually lasted longer than that in my tests.

In addition to the mini-HDMI port, the LED Pico offers a microSD card slot and a USB A port, enhancing its portability even further by letting it read files directly from memory cards and USB memory keys. The only other port is an AV connector that accepts a supplied cable with female RCA phono jacks on the other end for composite video and stereo audio. What’s missing from this list is any way to connect to a computer that lacks an HDMI port.

To use the projector, you plug in the appropriate cable, USB key, or memory card, press the power button, point the projector at whatever you’re using for a screen, and focus. As is standard for pico projectors, there’s no zoom, so the only way to adjust the image size is to move the projector. One noteworthy touch is that the focus thumbwheel is easier to control than with many projectors, making it much easier to find just the right setting for good focus.

Brightness and Image Quality
Aaxa rates the LED Pico at 25 lumens, which is significantly lower than most recent small projectors, including the P2 Jr., at 55 lumens; the 3M Mobile Projector MP300$229.22 at Amazon, at 60 lumens; and Aaxa P3, at 50 lumens. Because perception of brightness is logarithmic, however, half the lumens doesn’t mean half the perceived brightness.

That said, in my tests the image seemed dimmer than it should be at any given image size based on its rating. Measuring it showed why, with the measurement coming out to only 10 lumens. That’s a disappointingly low number, but it’s still bright enough to be useful

Based on recommendations by The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), 10 lumens is bright enough for long sessions in theater dark lighting for a 12 to 16 inch diagonal image at the LED Pico’s 16:9 aspect ratio. In moderate ambient light, the appropriate size drops to about 9 inches. Both of these are consistent with my testing. Keep in mind, however, that these image size recommendations are for long sessions. You can easily use much larger sizes for short sessions without tiring your eyes.

As with its brightness, the image quality for the LED Pico is good enough to be useful, but not particularly impressive. On our standard suite of DisplayMate tests, it delivered acceptable, but not great, color quality and good color balance.

Video quality is probably best described as being good enough to watch, without actually qualifying as good. Flesh tones in several test clips had a greenish tint, particularly in shadowed areas, and I saw lots of posterization (colors changing suddenly where they should change gradually). However the projector did a good job maintaining shadow detail (detail based on shading in dark areas), and I saw very few rainbow artifacts (flashes of red, green, and blue). Even if you see these artifacts easily, you’re not likely to see them often enough with the LED Pico to find them annoying.

One shortcoming this model shares with the P2 Jr. is exceedingly low-volume audio, even for its 1-watt speaker. If you need sound, you’ll want to plug a headset or external sound system into the projector’s audio output. Depending on the source, you may also have problems getting the audio to work. When I connected the projector to a Blu-ray player, the auto setup feature insisted that the projector didn’t support audio.

Even with the audio issues, the LED Pico qualifies as a capable projector for its size and price. Its strongest point is its portability, with its small size, its ability to read files from microSD cards and USB keys, and its ability to connect to smartphones or tablets with MHL support. That adds up to letting you project images without having to carry much with you besides the projector. As long as you don’t need a brighter image and aren’t too much of a perfectionist about image quality, the LED Pico can be a good choice, particularly as a companion to a smartphone or tablet.

New Floating Interactive Displays Are Coming!

From Japan, company Asukanet has developed a new interactive display that may soon be used in ATMs. To give you a better idea of what this, Tom Cruise’s Minority Report utilized this idea.

This new technology uses a focus free projector and an Aerial Imaging Plate to create the look of floating imagery. Japan has always been the forefront for technological innovations and this is proof of such feats in today’s tech society.

The Aerial Imaging (AI) Plate, developed by Asukanet, is a next-generation display device which can form an image which appears to be floating in midair from light that passes through it. By combining this device with sensors, it is also possible to interact with the projected images.

The viewing angle of the display is plus/minus 20 degrees from an axis at 45 degrees to the plate, so the image can only be seen by people within that area. So for example, if this display is utilized for bank ATMs, the image can only be seen by the current ATM user, preventing others from seeing what data is input. Another advantage is that because the device itself isn’t touched, the display won’t get covered in fingerprints.

 

Pico Projectors and Tablet Devices Equals Penbook!

 

 

 

 

 

If you love trees then you’ll love the fact that we may know longer need to cut them all down to make paper to write on!

“We present Penbook – a system providing a touch screen together with a built-in projector integrated with a wireless pen and a projection screen augmented with Anoto paper. This allows using the pen to write or sketch digital information with light on the projection surface while having the distinct tactility of a pen moving over paper. The touch screen can be used in parallel with the projected information turning the tablet into a dual-display device. ” -Universität Ulm