NTT DoCoMo Inc prototyped a mobile phone that can be used as a projector and demonstrated it at CEATEC JAPAN 2008.
The handset is based on the company's existing model and integrated with an ultrasmall projector.
As a light source of the projector, red, green and blue LEDs are used. Also, the handset is equipped with the "DLP (digital light processing) Pico" chipset, which was developed by Texas Instruments Inc, and consists of a DMD (digital micromirror device) downsized for mobile use, its driver LSI and so forth.
The pixel count of the projector is 480 × 320 (HVGA), and its luminance is 7.5lm. The power consumption of the projector module is about 3W.
In the demonstration, the handset was projecting images while its built-in Li-ion secondary battery was being charged. The demonstrated projector could be used for only 15 to 20 minutes per charge because an existing battery for mobile phones was used, NTT DoCoMo said. As for the size of the screen, the handset can project a 20-inch image from a distance of about 80cm, the company said.
To commercialize the new handset, it is necessary to reduce (1) the heat generated from the projector module, (2) the power consumption, (3) the cost and (4) the size of the projector module. The company aims at continuously using the projector for about 100 minutes with a built-in battery, equivalent to the operating time for 1seg function in its early stage.
As for the schedule for commercialization, "The projector module will be mounted after three years at earliest, and only in the highest-end models," the company said.