The DisplaySearch Pocket Projector Technology and Market Forecast Report published this spring identified a key set of challenges to the growth of the pocket projector market. Mainly, there is a need to simultaneously improve the resolution, brightness, and battery life.
DisplaySearch previously forecast that brightness and battery life would steadily improve from 2009 (when commercial products first became available) through 2012. See figure below. For example, in 2009, pocket projector brightness ranged from 5 to 50 lumens, with the majority around 15 lumens. HP introduced a model this year with 100 lumens, but it is not battery powered. 2011 models should all be above 20 lumens. 200 lumen models are expected to be released in 2012. In 2009, the average battery life varied from 30 minutes to 2 hours, with the majority around 1 hour. 2011 models should all be above 1 hour. Four hour battery life models are expected in 2012.
Recent product introductions continue to advance these trends. 3M announced two new models with up to 30 lumens brightness and a 2 hour battery life at standard mode: the MPro 160, available this month, and the MPro 180, available in January 2011. These products represent dramatic improvements over earlier models. The MPro 110, released at the end of 2008, had only 10 lumens brightness. The MPro 120, released in 2009, increased this brightness by 50% to 15 lumens. The MPro 180 has additional features, including a 2.4” LCD and touch screen for the interface. Both of these products use SVGA (800 × 600 pixels) format LCOS microdisplays, most likely ferroelectric LCOS supplied by Micron (which was acquired by DisplayTech in 2009).
Philips also announced three new pocket projectors in its PicoPix line recently: the PPX 1430, PPX 1230 and PPX 1020. All three have 400:1 contrast ratios and brightness of 20 30 lumens, with an integrated 2.5 hour battery on the 1230 and 1430 models (it is not clear whether the 2.5 hour battery life is at 30 lumens or a lower brightness). The PicoPix line uses field sequential SVGA LCOS microdisplays, supplied by Syndiant.
These advances show that pocket projector developers, working with their microdisplay and light source suppliers, are making good progress in improving overall system efficiency. Such improvements underpin the DisplaySearch forecast of more than 140 million pocket projectors by 2018.
To speak with DisplaySearch for additional data/commentary on pocket projectors, please contact Stacey Voorhees-Harmon at email@example.com or 925-336-9592.