The Digital Signage Insider

Tiny Projector Promises Bigger Kiosks, Cheaper Digital Signs

Published on: 0000-00-00

While reading one of my favorite blogs, Engadget, I came across this article about the Mitsubishi PocketProjector,  a tiny SVGA projector that uses LEDs instead of a traditional incandescent light bulb.  Expected to cost just $699 when it's launched in July, the projector will have a bulb life in excess of 20,000 hours, and will dissipate substantially less heat than traditional bulb-powered units.  While Mitsubishi's PR focuses mostly on consumer applications, I think that there is a tremendous amount of potential to use these things for digital retailing applications like large-format digital signage, interactive store windows, in-store TV networks and digital POP displays.

Up until now, the biggest drawback to using projectors for digital signage has been that their bulbs are expensive and need to be replaced frequently.  Think about it: if a typical projector bulb has an average life of 1,000 hours, and you're running digital content 12 hours a day 7 days a week, that's only about 12 weeks of operation before the bulb needs to be replaced.  And given that the bulbs can cost $200-$300 apiece and require an on-site technician to install them, many electronic sign network owners have been reluctant to use projectors at all.  Now if the hype turns out to be true, and the PocketProjector really does have a 20,000 hour bulb life (which would rival most plasma screens), their main deficiency will be addressed, and digital content network owners will have a new option for powering their displays - one that costs a lot less than large format LCDs, and doesn't have the burn-in problems of plasmas.  Granted, projection systems aren't ideal for all locations, and they would need to use some kind of polarizing substrate (or a turnkey system like Holo FX) for maximum impact, but another display option is certainly a welcome thing in our industry.

You can read more about the projector, including a full press release:
here [ ChaitGear ]
here [ ]
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