IMS sees good market for micro mobile projectors

05 Mar 2008

Devices that can project images and videos from mobile phones will soon sell although convergence may prove to be an issue for consumers, says IMS Research.

IMS noted that a lot of companies have announced plans to make commercially available small micro or "pico" projectors; some of them showing off prototypes during the recent Mobile World Congress.

A report by the analyst firm mentioned different methods for mobile projection: from Texas Instruments' use of millions of tiny mirrors to Microvision's single mirror approach to Light Blue Optics use of holographic laser lights.

Each of these methods is capable of displaying full color, vibrant images of a size that would be ideal for watching television or other types of visual multimedia for an extended period of time, IMI said.

Analyst Femi Omoni, however, noted that in spite of the encouraging factors that accompany mobile projectors, these are still considered separate from the handset itself thus, going against the concept of true convergence.

Omoni said: "Developers will have to consider how many consumers will be willing to carry around both a phone and a projector, especially when they have been encouraged to develop the habit of needing just one device."

Despite such concerns, initial product releases will target proverbial early adopters less concerned with perceived disadvantages than the "cool factor" of having the latest mobile gadget.

The lure of being able to properly utilize stored programming, visual multimedia and mobile TV with their phones will further serve as incentive for many in this demographic, IMS said.

Moreover, IMS said manufacturers are already working shrinking these projectors small enough to be embedded in handsets and properly utilized as an additional, secondary screen.

IMS predicts 50 million projectors will be built into handsets by 2012.

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