09 Tech Tuesday Pico Projectors


Pico Projectors-

There are two main types of Pico Projectors, Laser and LED.

Laser pico projectors use a laser beam to project the image. The advantage of Laser projectors is that there is no optics, meaning that that focus is no longer a challenge. Unlike a normal projector with a lens that needs to be focussed depending on focal distance, a laser-based projector will be in focus no matter what the distance of the projection surface is; this comes in particular usefulness when projecting on unique shapes. Unfortunately most laser-based pico projectors have very limited brightness and tend to have a bit of a “shimmery” appearance. That being said, they are working on developing larger and brighter laser-based projectors, which I predict to be one of the big advancements in display technology in the next 5 years. We have an older Micro Vision pico projector similar to the ShowWX+ that you can play with. They run about $300.

LED based pico projectors are very small projectors that use an LED light as the source for illumination. These projectors are much brighter than laser-based projectors. We have an Optoma PK 301 to play with that is about 4 times the brightness of the laser-based Pico Projector and is about the same price. Both projectors will take a variety of inputs from iPhones to computers and video cameras. The Optoma PK301 also includes the ability to use a MicroSD card to cary images and movies in the actual projector. While neither of the projectors are particularly useful in a high ambient light environment, when there is lower light environments, it is possible to create a good looking image. The display size tends to be small and would be ideal for a smaller group experience.

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