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The Microvision Mobile Projector is GENIUS

Time for another ‘coffee moment’ video.

Go and get a coffee and sit back and watch this one. Dan and James introduce the Microvision Mobile Projector. It’s just stunning and you will want one…

Here’s the video:

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

91 replies on “The Microvision Mobile Projector is GENIUS”

too late, not going to take off, i don't buy it at all. connected displays are the future. intel needs to shove chips into things and people are not buying computers as fast as they used to, but televisions on the other hand …

CES was all about the connected display, streaming here and streaming there, by the time those things start becoming mainstream then so will NFC. walk up to a display, tap it, you have control over it now.

prices of panels, they offer infinitely better quality than a projected image, hell you had to turn the light off to get decent results out of that thing. margins on panels are terrible and getting worse, differentiation will start happening at the connectivity level. be prepared for much smarter displays then we have now.

It's worth mentioning a few facts:

1. Due to the slight difference between the refresh rate of our camera and the laser scanlines on the Microvision projector the image appears to flicker, this does not happen in “real life” and is a side-effect of recording it with a camera.

2. Our camera doesn't handle low-light situations well and therefore doesn't do the Microvision projector any favours… IMHO it still looks amazing!

Needless to say, I absolutely LOVE this product. I saw an earlier prototype version a while ago and have been driving the rest of the MIR team mad ever since I heard we were getting a proper demo.

Apologies to the whole MWC press team who had to put up with me pestering them to let us into their nice conference hall and figure out the complicated lighting desk (which was labelled in spanish) to demo this properly 😉

I think you're missing the point, I don't see 100″ smart panels being ubiquitous any time soon. We turned the lights down because all projectors work better in the dark (with black being the absence of light) but the projector was usable even under the spotlights of the auditorium (you can even just about see it on my black t-shirt ffs!).

Even at the $500 launch price this product is amazing value and I for one will probably be buying several.

That's the amazing thing about this projector, it's not a shitty DLP or LCD based light engine… it's a scanning LASER!!!!!!

Because it's a beam of light from lasers it's always in focus, incredibly bright and the lasers have an immense lifetime unlike the bulbs used in LCD/DLP projectors.

The Microvision laser projector seriously impresses me (and come on, you know how cynical I am!) but I'm not at all excited by those little DLP projectors that are just hitting the market… they are built on an old technology that isn't translating to the mobile world very well at all (for example LED lamps are not nearly as bright as the metal halide ones used in the desktop versions)

Mitsubishi was supposed to start making televisions based on that laser technology, but you know what … those plans have been canceled. Until I see these babies in volume I'm going to remain bearish on projectors in phones.

Too niche, too geeky, too many technical problems.

Anyway, at least your other video with you beating the piss out a mobile was awesome and even sold me!

Making TV's based on lasers is stupid for the reasons you mentioned above… panel technology is good enough to not need lasers for RPTVs.

Where lasers do have a place is in tiny projectors, I disagree that they are too niche, geeky and have technical problems. There is a massive market for these amongst the powerpoint crowd and I wouldn't be surprised if, when the price drops below $250, we don't see people using them for entertainment.

I did ask Russell if I could hit one of his prototypes with a hammer but he didn't seem too keen!

Yeah – Dan's mad about this, but I have to admit the demo was excellent. No focusing and a massive clear image greated from a handset-sized device. Imagine sharing your images at a party on a wall…

This unit outperforms the comparable Samsung unit and the actual projector is about a 3rd of the size of an iPhone.

Oh and yes, MIR is the only show to use an unreleased Nokia N97 for lighting effects. Awesome 🙂

But what will be the source of those images? For temporary / mobile installations why cart a panel when a good surface and few inches square of plastic have you covered?

(steps back and lets Dan Lane re-assume faboi pose)

The thing that really hit home for me was when Russell said (at 2:35):

“It redefines the elevator pitch…”

As soon as he said that, I got it.

Every week I speak to sales guys or CEOs or new companies looking for funding…
If a businessman can approach a VC and deliver his entire pitch (slides an' all) in virtually no time at all with a pocket-sized piece of equipment, then wow – that's one thing they have over the next guy.

Seriously. That's how this device speaks to me.

Not even for mobile usage, but think about how this will redefine gaming and even home theatre. Today, if I want to use a projector in my home, I'm stuck trying to mount this huge thing, as Dan said, the size of a small suitcase. I could easily mount that to my ceiling or hell, even poke it through a hole in the wall.

Fast forward a bit and now imagine this thing is embedded in the bezel of a laptop (or better, a NETBOOK!), or in the case of my next video game system. A PSP with this embedded, etc. There's just so many ways to use this technology, outside of just connecting it to a cell phone (which will be fantastic, too).

I'm sold, hook line and sinker. I'm also fascinated to know the difference in the laser and the dlp technologies, as that's going to be a major factor.

Something we didn't film but should have is the bare laser assembly that Russell had with him… it's tiny!, easily small enough to fit inside a netbook bezel or handheld gaming device.

Thanks guys! From the states here, I've been impatiently waiting for this to hit the market for over a year. Although Microvision is pushing this as a mobile device, I have an ulterior motive. Imagine a home theater projector that produces no light on dark scenes for an infinite on/off contrast, creates a picture with soft edged pixels that blend together for a film-like image, highly saturated colors, and uses a laser light source that lasts 20,000 + hours! And if you need more light from this tiny projector, just aim 5-10 of these at a high gain screen. The ansi contrast on prototype Microvision projectors has been reported to be over 2000:1, perhaps the highest ansi contrast of ANY projector EVER. Which kind of makes sense since there is no lens or complicated optical path that causes light scatter and kills contrast.

Not since CRT technology have we been graced with such amazing image quality from a display device…and it fits in your pocket! Only 5 months to wait now! 🙂

Loads of people paid over £500 not so long ago for N95's on Expansys.

Loads of people pay that much for a crap 1-week holiday in some package tour hellhole.

This does have serious wow factor, and the use cases on planes, trains, in the back of taxi's, other cars, in the pub, at parties, are too numerous to mention. Using a high-gain sheet of A4-size material that could be folded/rolled up, you'd get an image perfectly viewable in normal indoor light conditions.

It's been along time coming (I saw early demos of this nearly 3 years ago) so it's great to hear it'll be commercial this year.

/m

After arsing about hanging a heavy 720p projector to my wall at home, I'd buy it in a flash. He said ~$500? That's still cheaper than many SD/720p projectors. And if it does perfect blacks, doesn't need focusing OR expensive bulb changes, how can it fail to be a winner in the home cinema market.

I mean, look at those specs http://www.microvision.com/showwx/specs.html

Yes, I'd love one built in to my BlackBerry, but I'd be just as happy blutacking it to my ceiling.

It’s not going to take over from full size projectors just yet, the quality and brightness just aren’t there, but I’m pretty certain that will come with developement. We’ve been thinking of buying one of the current versions for being completely independent of anyone else’s equipment when doing pitches to VC’s. No having to wonder if they have a suitable display, or the right cables, etc, just pull one of these out, drop the blinds and you’re in business.

The elevator pitch is a fantastic phrase and really shows where these things are going.

For home movies I don’t mind having the projector on the ceiling, my 100″ 1080p setup isn’t going to get overtaken for a while, but the sales people with a phone/eepc and one of these must be frothing at the mouth to buy them.

I need to preface this with that I work for Microvision so I'm obviously a bit biased. However I thought you guys did a great job on the review. You guys have been one of the first that have seen such a large picture projected from it and I'm glad you were impressed. The large picture is one of the most impressive features of the projector that hasn't been shown to the public yet. I'm glad you guys were there to show everyone first.

Interesting little gizmo.
First thought is that this would be superb for taking my video collection along to a hotel room – watching DVDs on a laptop isn't that satisfactory.
Secondary to that would be – well, sharing media content with friends – it's not that uncommon to do 'hey, have you seen …' and show them a pic of … almost anything. Or a webpage, or whatever. Splash that on a wall instead.

You guys mentioned that “it's not a shitty DLP or LCD based light engine.” – can you compare this to other pico projectors that you've seen? Which ones have you seen? And what do you think is better about this one? Have you seen the new 3M MM200 prototype, or just the MPro110 and the Optoma PK101? Just looking for some context about why you think this is better, and compared to what?

Ben, how about posting your pre-filming interview with Russel Hannigan that James Whatley mentioned? We'd love to read it or see it if it was filmed.

Dan, what is it that doesn't excite you about the other DLP and LCOS projectors that are hitting the market now? TI has just released a report on their latest DLP chip that has the same resolution as MVIS's. I believe that these Pico Projectors coming out are LED based because they are cheap and available now, unlike the costs of lasers and the availability of the green one presently. These other light engines can switch to lasers when they are available and might just do that. If the picture quality, brightness and all had no focus would price be the determining factor or is there a reason you would still like MVIS's SHOW WX ?

Dan and James, thanks for the MWC report. You mentioned that the Sony Ericsson folks set up the Hannigan /SHOWWX presentation for you.

Can you tell us what triggered the meeting?

Were you approached by Sony Ericsson or Microvision?

or…

Did you court the relationship?

Hey there,

Just to be clear:

Sony Ericsson has *nothing* to do with the meeting itself. To clarify – We wanted to demo the Microvision projector on a big screen. It just so happened that the person who was running access to the room we demo'd in was the exact same person that gained us access to a Sony Ericsson preview party late last year.

That is the only connection.

Regarding who triggered the meeting, I think you'd have to ask Ben and/or Dan.
Guys?

Hey Tony,

Thank you *so* much for dropping by, great to connect on Twitter today 🙂
A couple of things –

1) Would it be possible nearer release to get a demo/review copy for an upcoming show? We would be more than happy to return it once we'd put it through its paces and I'm certain that'd make a certain Mr Lane a VERY happy man indeed! ;D

2) We had a rather odd comment on the HD version of this post – (see here – http://mobileindustry.wpengine.com/2009/02/mir…) from one of Microvision's shareholders. Can you confirm who he is and why he dislikes us so?

Much appreciated! 🙂

J

Who was the PR? Was it MVIS's PR? What we're trying to find out is was it SONY/ERICSON who triggered the meeting or was it MVIS themselves? If it was SONY/ERICSON it is very big indeed and would be very big news. To not clear this up is confusing your readers. Please clear this up.

I think we've been very clear, but to be tediously detailed…

The meeting was aranged via Lisa Figlioli.  She works at Vetrano
Communications who represent Microvision.  It was a bulk e-mail that
(probably) went out to all registered press attendees of the event –
we got about 800 other similar requests.

SonyEricsson had no involvement at any point.  The only reason they
were mentioned was that the person who provided access (literally, was
working at the media centre reception desk) to the room we filmed in
had previously invited us to a SE event which regular readers would
have seen us cover.  The reason for mentioning this person was solely
to highlight how lucky we were to be able to test with a big screen –
it was not planned and would not have been possible if it weren't for
a friend of the show.

If we really had a source to indicate that any major phone company was
pimping this product do you not think it would be headlined on the
front page of the site by now?

It's a very exciting-looking product, but could the shareholders in
the crowd take a deep breath and relax…?

2009/2/26 Disqus <>

Hello it's Ewan, the Mobile Industry Review editor here. Let's be clear: Sony Ericsson have nothing whatsoever to do with us meeting MVIS.

We wanted the lights turned down in the big room we were in. So James spoke a guy he knew whose day job is PR for a company that represents Sony Ericsson amongst others. James knows the guy. I know the guy. He was just being helpful. He arranged for his colleague to contact the Mobile World Congress lighting guy to come along and switch the lights off for us during the filming.

This PR guy didn't — to my knowledge — even *meet* with MVIS guy.

The reference to Sony Ericsson is thus wholly in passing. We were thanking the guy for his help on camera, that's all.

MVIS PR contacted us directly about the interview as they have been doing in the run up to most shows.

Nothing AT ALL to do with Sony Ericsson.

Are we clear now, Martin?

Dan and James, thanks for the MWC report! You guys rock! How large can you make the projected image before you sacrifice the wow factor?

To the guys at MIR…all this came about from a certain poster on Yahoo's MVIS investors message board from a poster named sturocks who posted misleading information trying to influence investors. I never believed the link and mentioned just what you guys said but Sturocks continued to post misleading information linking Sony/Ericson and MVIS to his benifit. Outlawjosiewales posted your reply but was told it was lies and wrote to ask you and included james reply but Sturocks continued to say it was lies and that you guys didn't say what Josie quoted you. It had to be cleared up for investors and only you guys could. I'm sorry it took so much of your time but as Ben said and I agreed “don't you think it would be headlined on the front page of the site” I posted and said it was exactly how you guys explained it happened but he continued to try to influence investors…here's the thread on Yahoo

Here's what promted the “tediously detailed” response needed…..

From Sturocks…>>>
Re: VIDEO FROM MWC 24-Feb-09 07:34 pm “Just like Sony Ericsson who turned the two techno geeks onto Microvision”

Martin…>>>”And just where did it say Sony Ericson turned those two guys onto MVIS except in your simple mind? Could it have been that the guy who organized that Sony/Ericson party was simply organizing the room for them to demo the SHOW WX in?

Sturocks…>>>No that's not the case. Ask them

Outlawjosiewales…>>>Not Sony 25-Feb-09 05:06 pm “Dan and James, thanks for the MWC report. You mentioned that the Sony Ericsson folks set up the Hannigan /SHOWWX presentation for you.

Can you tell us what triggered the meeting?

Were you approached by Sony Ericsson or Microvision?

or…

Did you court the relationship?

James Whatley…>>>
Hey there,

Just to be clear:

Sony Ericsson has *nothing* to do with the meeting itself. To clarify – We wanted to demo the Microvision projector on a big screen. It just so happened that the person who was running access to the room we demo'd in was the exact same person that gained us access to a Sony Ericsson preview party late last year.

That is the only connection.

Regarding who triggered the meeting, I think you'd have to ask Ben and/or Dan”

Sturocks…>>>Re: Not Sony 25-Feb-09 05:22 pm Worthless lies from another hellbaby id? sturocks

Martin…>>>Re: Not Sony 26-Feb-09 01:17 pm Here's your proof Stu.
Judge for yourself…From the fellas at MIR themselves…>>>
Ben Smith 6 hours ago
“Dan was aware of the product from media coverage at previous shows, so was keen to see the product. We got an offer of a meeting from Microvision's PR people (along with about 800 other invites as is the norm for these shows…), accepted and that was it.

We're not shareholders and we're not promoting Microvision any more than any other firm wed were impressed with at MWC.”

http://tinyurl.com/aocwth

Re: Not Sony 25-Feb-09 05:32 pm Why would you think it's true. The moron didn't provide a link to the statement on the website. Look for yourself. No such statement is made. Rating :

sturocks

I hope you understand how and why we needed to know exactly the lack of any connection between Sony/Ericson and MVIS that could only come from you guys.
Being born in Leeds myself I knew you guys coudn't be bought by anyone especially after Evan said what he did about putting up ads from a company whose product he blasted. I've always said people can take many things for us but you have to give them your integrity…no one can take it if you don't give it to them. Keep up the good work …your report was great and Ben's interview of Nokia's VP was nothing short of fantastic. I bet it was one of the best interviews the VP has ever done. He looked like he enjoyed it more than Ben. Great questions he's probably never been asked….having the same dull ones over and over. Can't wait for Ben's written interview with Russel.

We were filming in an ideal room with the lights turned down using a proper projection surface and the image easily went to 100″ diagonal without sacrificing the “wow” factor. In the press room at MWC before we started filming the lights were incredibly bright and the device easily handled 30″ onto a wall. It didn't have the same brightness and contrast that gives you that “wow” factor but it was still impressive and would have easily sufficed for a powerpoint presentation. It's important to note that this is an issue inherent in all projection systems and not just the laser system used by Microvision. In fact, the use of lasers means that the Microvision product has many advantages when used in less than ideal environments over the small LED lit DLP projectors we're seeing hit the market.

Ben, don't bother — I had some ambient awareness of what you're discussing and we captured more on the video. Martin if you're keen for more information on MVIS, let us know, we can contact them and arrange a follow-up video interview.

Here's just some of the less impressive features that Tony from Microvision conveniently doesn't tell you about.

1) Microvision's system requires an extremely expensive green laser. None of its competitors do.
2) Microvision's projector suffers badly from laser speckle and image distortion. It seems as though they try to disguise this by projecting onto people's shirts, as in this video. None of its competitors has this problem.
3) Microvision's projector cannot be classified as Class 1 eye safe. Every other available pico projector can.
4) The colour depth of the Microvision projector is just 16 bit, which leads to banding and aliasing in the image.

Great, so not before long we'll see school boys projecting naughty pr0n onto walls at night to frighten old ladies!

Better living through technology indeed xD

We only go to the cinema now if the movie is in 3D. We have loads of pairs of 3D glasses now. I like to wear them around town and make people think I'm an even bigger geek than I really am. The thing is, all you need to make 3D cinema is two projectors each with a polarised lense. I have loads of the lenses in the extra pairs of shades, so it's something I'm going to be trying. But now consider the size of these projectors: Even without using them in mobile devices, it's going to be perfectly feasible to polarise the output from two such devices and position the apertures closely enough for everything to line up perfectly on the wall, and then we have 3D home cinema. Awesome!!

(Except in our house where our LCD TV is on a narrow piece between two big patio windows, and therefore has a curtain behind each side… D'OH)

I'll take it on my camping trips… got 3 kids & usually camp out a couple times a year with friends & families who got kids too… this will be an instant winner !!!!!!!! & I'll be the coolest dad around !!!!

When can grab one ???

WIth so many pocket projectors available (3M MPRO $250 – Optoma Pico $275 – Cyclop $99 to name a few I wonder how MICROVISION will compete and able to sell the product for $500 (A BIT TO HIGH) for a pocket projectors. Also, got some news that main reason it's not available yet cause so many problems with this product. Supposed to be out early this year but with so many problem MICROVISION still trying to fix. WARNING if ever this product will be available pls make sure to check the other product first since with the price alone you can actually buy 2 to 5 of the other projectors.

I've been watching MVIS since 2003. I used their technology in the field as a Marine. I invested early on because of their arsenal of patents. The implication of their technologies (most of which are secret) are ineffable. I love the pico projector but what I'm most concerned about is sound quality. The visual qualities need to compliment the sound qualities (imagine going to the theatre with a phone as your audio source!) There needs to be some A/V proportion. I think microvision needs to look into this if they haven't already. What's happening in the area of audio?

I've been watching MVIS since 2003. I used their technology in the field as a Marine. I invested early on because of their arsenal of patents. The implication of their technologies (most of which are secret) are ineffable. I love the pico projector but what I'm most concerned about is sound quality. The visual qualities need to compliment the sound qualities (imagine going to the theatre with a phone as your audio source!) There needs to be some A/V proportion. I think microvision needs to look into this if they haven't already. What's happening in the area of audio?

I think that a major market is not being mentioned here. Being able to project a still image from a cell phone is a wonderful thing. In my job, I have customers always trying to show me pictures of their construction situation on their cell phones. Being able to project a foot-square picture onto a wall would be so cool.

In a couple years, every cell phone will have a projector imbedded, at least for still images. Digital cameras will, too. The next generation of gaming systems won't need to connect to a tv, they'll be able to project on a wall or wherever. A business could use a projector for marketing displays that the customers couldn't mess with. The possibilities are amazing.

Sorry..May be nice..but it's a little too late. Maybe if it has more lumens and onboard memory it would be worth $500 and hats pushing it. Look at AAXA P2. Yes its an LED LCOS Light, but common, 33 lumens vs 10. Its a no brainer. Put those two side by side at 100″, we'll see whos left standing.

I bought the 3M MPRO 120 Pocket Projector.be comfortable and easy to take it everywhere.but the image not clarity, especially in larger rooms.Sometimes,I use it primarily for PowerPoint and videos.

Pocket Projector with 3M projection Engine are really nice projector. it is a perfect solution to business meeting and presentation.

A factory in Shenzhen, China, Called ” Shenzhen Tyder-Region Technology” unveiled a few models, Looks very cute and the projected images are clear.
This company 'website is http://www.trt-cn.com on which you can know more data.

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