Jul 182012
 

Researchers used the technology to create a small picoprojector, seen here, which could be embedded in a smartphone, tablet or other device. (Image courtesy of ImagineOptix Corp.)

A small “picoprojector” could be embedded in a smartphone, tablet or other device.

Researchers from North Carolina State University and ImagineOptix Corporation have developed new technology to convert unpolarized light into polarized light, which makes projectors that use liquid crystal (LC) technology almost twice as energy efficient. The new technology has resulted in smaller, lower cost and more efficient projectors, meaning longer battery life and significantly lower levels of heat.

All LC projectors – used from classrooms to conference rooms – utilize polarized light. But efficient light sources – such as light-emitting diodes, or LEDs – produce unpolarized light. As a result, the light generated by LEDs has to be converted into polarized light before it can be used.

The most common method of polarizing light involves passing the unpolarized light through a polarizing filter. But this process wastes more than 50 percent of the originally generated light, with the bulk of the “lost” light being turned into heat – which is a major reason that projectors get hot and have noisy cooling fans.

But the new technology developed at NC State allows approximately 90 percent of the unpolarized light to be polarized and, therefore, used by the projector.

The ImagineOptix-sponsored research team was also able to use the technology to create a small “picoprojector,” which could be embedded in a smartphone, tablet or other device.

Read more . . .

via NC State University
 

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