New pico projectors debut, aim for prime time

In-Stat says market to top $1 billion by 2013

Microvision showed its laser-powered Showxx projector at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 6.

Microvision showed its laser-powered Showxx projector at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 6.

New pico projectors are making their entrance at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, offering a better image quality that manufacturers hope will let them break into the mainstream.

Pico projectors are tiny projectors, not much larger than a cell phone, that connect to a laptop or smartphone and display movies, PowerPoint presentations and other file types. They attracted some buzz at last year's CES, but the image quality on some of the devices left a bit to be desired.

Nevertheless, In-Stat has predicted (PDF) the market for pico projectors, including those embedded into cell phones and other products, will top US$1 billion by 2013.

Several companies are showing updated models this year. Microvision is showing the Showwx, which the company says is the first product that uses lasers to project the image, giving it a bright, WVGA-quality image that can be up to 200 inches across the diagonal in a darkened room.

It has no internal storage but connects to an iPod, iPhone, laptop or other device with a TV-out or VGA connection. It measures 12 cm by 6 cm and weighs 122 grams. A replaceable lithium-ion battery lasts only 90 minutes but the device can also be charged through a Micro USB port.

The Showxx went on sale recently in parts of Asia and Europe, and Microvision hopes to start selling it directly to consumers in the U.S. in March for about US$500.

While the Showxx is aimed mainly at consumers, 3M showed an update to its MPro 120 projector that's targeted mainly at the mobile worker crowd.

The MPro 150 has a brighter LED bulb than its predecessor, at 15 lumens, and is 3M's first pico projector with internal storage, so it can be used without attaching it to another device. It comes with 1GB of internal memory and a micro SD slot for adding more.

Content can be loaded via a USB port, but it also has VGA, component and composite connectors for connecting to laptops and other devices.

The MPro 150 uses an LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) technology for the projector, and can display images that are up to 50 inches across the diagonal at VGA quality. As files are added to the device it automatically sorts them by file type into folders to make them easier to find.

It also serves as an MP3 player, with a headphone jack and integrated speakers, and it comes with a small tripod. An adapter cable for connecting to Apple products is an optional extra. The MPro 150 will be sold through Amazon.com and from 3M's Web site starting next month, for about $400.

Several other vendors are also vying for attention, including Sparkz which recently launched an elaborate docking station projector for iPhones and iPods.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags market researchprojectorsIn-Statpico projectors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?