Posts Tagged ‘Alps Electric’

New Glass Lenses Could Mean Projectors in Smartphones

Alps FLGS3 lensWouldn’t it be convenient if you could walk into your business meeting or conference room with a full presentation ready to project for your colleagues or audience without ever having to lug around a projector? Well, that fantasy may become a reality, and soon, thanks to new lenses that are being designed for smartphones.

Smartphones can do just about anything these days, including surf the internet, record HD movies, play games and even hold gigabytes of data. More and more functionality is being added to our smartphones every day. One potential future addition is the inclusion of a projector module right in your smartphone.

This module would allow you to project video or images on a wall as a 60-inch HD output or larger. However, the main problem with adding functionality like this is size, power and heat. Nobody wants a bigger smartphone, at least not one that is uncomfortably large, or one that consumes too much power or becomes too hot to hold.

Currently, the projector components are too big to be added to a smartphone. In addition to their size, they also require a lot of power and generate a lot of heat. That makes them unsuitable to be included in your next generation iPhone or Droid.

However, Alps Electric is trying to solve these problems and has just announced the world’s smallest aspherical glass lens which measures only 1mm x 1mm. Lenses like these are mostly used in high-capacity communication networks. The glass lens is used in optical communications for transmitting light signals to optical fibers and are also perfect for use in a projector.

The latest aspherical lens from Alps technology is known as the FLGS3. Not only is it remarkably small, but it also has a high coupling efficiency of 73% as opposed to the previous 68%. To put it simply, this just means that you need less light to gain the same level of brightness. Less light equals less power and less heat which means better things for you and your smartphone.

These new lenses and their gains could mean that palm-sized projectors may no longer require the Peltier device-metal component used to help dissipate heat. This also helps make them smaller and cheaper. The savings you receive in power consumption will also mean that you can use the projector for longer periods of time on a single charge.

Even if these new advancements do not turn out to be enough for use in a smartphone (yet), they should reduce the size of new, dedicated palm-sized projectors in the future. Alps has already begun production on the new glass lens and definitely sees these being used in consumer devices in the near future as the company increases production to 100,000 per month by the end of 2011.

Source: – Tiny new glass lens paves way for projectors in smartphones