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Are pico projectors the next big cell-phone trend?


Large flat-screen TVs were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, but companies such as Microvision Inc. are putting their bets on viewing images on a much smaller scale, Reuters reports: video projection from devices as tiny as cell phones. While commercial products with so-called pico projectors are still relatively rare, Microvision and rivals such as Texas Instruments Inc. and 3M Co. were promising strong prospects for pico projection at CES. Microvision showed off a stand-alone projector that looked like a big bar of soap and projected crisp video images using laser technology. Its big hope is to embed the technology in a range of consumer electronics, including cameras and phones. “We believe that in a five-year forecast, your phones will all have projectors,” Microvision’s director of communications, Matt Nichols, told Reuters. Texas Instruments, a major supplier of projection chips, has its pico projectors embedded in several commercial devices, including dedicated mini-projectors and two phones from Samsung Electronics Co. “Everybody is just completely jazzed about” pico projectors, said Frank Moizio, manager for TI’s pico business…

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