• Mini-beamer in a cell phone or PDA

    Looking at photos on a cell phone 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 cell phone or a PDA. As it does not need an extra light source it also conserves the battery. C
    Date:30 June 2009

    Cellphone TV is coming closer and with an innovative mini beamer it will be possible to create a public viewing event on a small scale – for example on a white bathing towel by the side of a pool.

    The mini projector was developed by research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena in co-operation with their partners in the EU project HYPOLED.

    Unlike conventional beamers it does not need an additional illumination system. Because the beamer can operate without an extra light source it offers a number of advantages. Firstly, it takes up little space. The prototype is 2,5 cm long, has a diameter of 1,8 cm and can be easily integrated in a cellphone or a PDA. Secondly, the device needs very little energy and therefore does not overtax the battery.

    “The key component of the projector is an organic display, or OLED, developed by our colleagues at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS in Dresden,” says Dr Stefan Riehemann, group manager at the IOF.

    Currently the OLED display produces a monochrome image with a brightness of 10 000 candelas per square metre; for colour images the brightness is about half that level. By way of comparison, a computer monitor generates about 150-300 candelas per square metre. A lens system projects the image produced by the OLED onto a wall or other flat surface. The lenses are made of glass but the research scientists are already developing an optical system which uses plastic lenses. As plastic lenses can be embossed, they can be produced in larger quantities more simply and cheaply than glass lenses.

    The researchers will be exhibiting a monochrome prototype at the Laser World of Photonics trade show from 15-18 June in Munich.

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