Show and tell

Redmond, Washington-based Microvision has taken the wraps off a prototype of what it claims is the first handheld, battery-powered, ‘plug-and-play’ projector.

Redmond, Washington-based Microvision has taken the wraps off a prototype of what it claims is the first handheld, battery-powered, ‘plug-and-play’ projector based on the company’s single micro-mirror laser scanning display technology.

Code-named ‘Show’, Microvision’s stand-alone miniature projector is powered by the company’s proprietary ultra-miniature PicoP display engine.

Show connects directly to laptops, mobile phones, portable media players (PMPs), digital cameras and other mobile devices to project large, high-resolution images and video onto any surface. The images projected can range anywhere from 12 inches (30cm) to 100 inches (2.5m) in size depending upon the projection distance.

The production version of the device is expected to offer approximately 2.5 hours of continuous battery life, sufficient to watch a full-length movie without a need for recharging.

Microvision says that Show can project a widescreen, WVGA (848 X 480 pixels), DVD quality image, which offers a very different experience from the tiny display solutions available today on various portable devices. Designed for viewing high-quality projected images in a variety of controlled lighting environments, Show is claimed to offer more than five times the resolution of competing miniature projectors that typically only offer QVGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels).

Microvision’s advanced prototypes of Show will be available in limited quantities to select OEMs in the first half of 2008. The release of a commercial product is targeted for the end of 2008.

This month, Microvision also revealed that it had entered into a development agreement with one of the world’s leading distributors and manufacturers of consumer electronics products, who will be evaluating the pico projector prototype displays for use with a variety of mobile devices. For confidentiality reasons, the name of the consumer electronics partner and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.