Light Blue Optics, the Cambridge, UK-based developer of laser-based projection systems, has raised $15m (£9.1m) in funding from Robert Bosch Venture Capital, the 3i Group, Earlybird Venture Capital, Capital-E and NESTA.
The company’s first product – a projection engine suitable for integration into an accessory pico-projector – is scheduled for release to OEM customers in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Uniquely, the projection system can be touch-enabled, meaning any flat surface such as a table can be transformed into a touch-sensitive display, eliminating the need for a touch screen and allowing users to interact with multimedia content in new ways.
What is more, it can deliver a throw angle (the angle at which the image leaves the projector aperture) greater than 100o, creating large images at extremely close proximity to the projector aperture.
Since it uses laser light sources, there is no need for a manual focus control as images remain in focus at all distances from the projector. Images can also be projected onto curved or angled surfaces without distortion.
Dr Chris Harris, chief executive officer at Light Blue Optics, said: ‘This $15m financing round will enable the company to accelerate its product development and address a wider range of applications. It’s a very exciting opportunity, not least in the consumer electronics space where the market for projectors has been forecast to exceed $1bn within five years.’