Pico Projector companies
3M is fundamentally a science-based company, producing thousands of imaginative products: from health care and highway safety to office products and abrasives and adhesives. 3M has over $25 billion in sales annually, and are traded in the NYSU (ticker: MMM).
3M have an active pico-projection program, with 3 generations already released, all based on LCoS technology. 3M were one of the first companies to actually offer a pico projector, the MPro-110. In August 2009 they have released their 2nd generation projector, the MPro-120 (here's our review), and have recently added the MPro-150 (here's our review).
You can follow 3M Pico Projector news here.
bTendo is an Israeli company (founded in 2006) working on laser-scanning/MEMS based Pico Projector modules - offering those to stand-alone projector makers or as an embeddable module inside mobile devices.
Citizen Finetech Miyota (a part of the Citizen group) supplies high precision components (including quartz, ceramics and magnets), LCDs, sensing devices and optical devices. CFM is also a manufacturer of electronic viewfinders (EVFs, used in digital cameras and other products) based on ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLCOS).
In September 2012 CFM bought Micron's DisplayTech FLCOS operations, which makes microdisplays used in pico projectors.
Display Photonics Systems (DPS) is a new start-up that has developed a new single-panel projection technology called Angular Color Projection (ACP). They claim that their solution is more efficient, brighter, smaller and cheaper than current solutions.
DPS has already been granted some patents and created a fully working prototype. They are now seeking funding to complete product development and create a pilot production line in China.
Here's more info about their ACP technology.
EpiCrystals (based in Finland) are developing laser products for pico projectors based on their DeCIBEL technology. According to the company, DeCIBEL lasers will offer the best image quality and lowest speckle.
EpiCrystals' first product, a green laser diode is expected to hit the market in early 2012.
Explay was an Israeli start-up focused on Pico Projectors, and were bought by ADM (for only $555,000) towards the end of 2009. Explay were working on a pico-projector module , but also wanted to make standalone projector (to be called the OiO) - but it's not clear whether they are still working on that.
In September 2010, Explay announced that their modules are now shipping to customers, and they expect products at around February 2011.
Greenlight Optics provides engineering services and products to help companies develop or integrate the latest picoprojector technology. They offer custom and off-the-shelf engines, concept evaluation, optical and system design, prototyping, production design, and manufacturing.
Himax Technologies is a fabless driver IC design company founded in 2001, Headquartered in Tainan, Taiwan. Himax designs, develops, and markets complete driver IC solutions for various TFT-LCD applications and the company offers LCoS based pico-projector solutions.
Himax's pico-projector module are being used by several companies, including Nikon in their s1000pj camera. The company announced a new SVGA module in January 2011. You can read the latest pico-projector news from Himax here.
Lemoptix is developing MEMS based (LBS) laser pico projector modules. Lemoptix is based in Switzerland was spun-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).
Light Blue Optics is a UK based company working towards touch-enabled Holographic Laser Projection modules. These modules support WVGA-QVGA images at 10 lumens. LBO’s proprietary technology has an ultra-wide throw angle and the ability to correct for optical aberrations using software. These features enable LBO’s miniature projection systems to switch between conventional front projection onto a wall and a novel table-down projection mode where the device is placed on a table and the content is projected down onto the surface in front of it. They also incorporate a infra-red touch sensor.
Lite-On Technology (based in Taiwan) is a provider of innovative products including imaging products, enclosures, power supplies and LEDs. Lite-On has over 35,000 employees and 37 factories worldwide.
Lite-On is developing LCoS pico-projector modules and stand-alone projectors on an ODM basis. They hope to start shipping modules in Q2 or Q3 2010.