Jul 16, 2012Science and Technology
Super Efficient, Super Tiny "Pico Projectors"

Researchers for North Carolina State University and ImagineOptix Corporation have developed a new technique for polarizing light that promises smaller, more efficient “pico projectors”. The researchers’ new technique, called a “polarization grating-polarization conversion system," achieves up to a 90% energy conversion efficiency from “raw light” to polarized light; a drastic improvement on the roughly 50% efficiency of current methods. “The commercial implications are broad-reaching. Projectors that rely on batteries will be able to run for almost twice as long. And LC projectors of all kinds can be made twice as bright but use the same amount of power that they do now.” says Dr. Michael Escuti, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State. To show just how large (or small) an impact this technology will have, the researchers created the first projector capable of easily fitting inside a tablet or smartphone, at roughly the size of a quarter.

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