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NTT Docomo unveils cell phone projector at CEATEC 2008

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NTT Docomo unveils cell phone projector at CEATEC 2008Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (also known as CEATEC) is an annual trade show held every year in October, in Makuhari Messe, Japan, since the first CEATEC in 2000. The event is said to be the Japanese equivalent of International Consumer Electronics Show, a similar show which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year’s CEATEC edition has brought several remarkable inventions, more than the last few years combined, and the latest product NTT Docomo unveiled at the event does no more, no less than to continue the trend. The company is very well known for gripping the Japanese cell phone market and for recently losing the rights to the Apple’s iPhone in favor of SoftBank, which seemed to be the perfect solution, despite Docomo’s powerful network and local brand recognition.

NTT Docomo Inc. revealed, therefore, the prototype of a mobile phone that would double as a video projector and the demonstration was made during the CEATEC 2008 event.

The company used for this handset its existing model which was integrated an ultrasmall projector. Red, green and blue LEDs are used as a light source. In addition, the device features a “DLP Pico” chipset ( DLP stands for digital light processing) designed by Texas Instruments Inc. and consists of a DMD (digital micromirror device) downsized for mobile use, its driver LSI and so forth. The projector has 480 x 320 pixels (HVGA) and a luminance of 7.5m, meanwhile the power consumption of the projector module comes to 3W.

NTT Docomo unveils cell phone projector at CEATEC 2008The projector is designed to screen a 20-inch image from a distance of about 80 centimeters and to offer approximately 100 minutes of operating time. It’s more than enough to watch a TV show, podcast, or a short film. As I was saying before, a demonstration took place at the event. The handset projected images and its built-in Li-Ion secondary battery was being charged in the same time. The projector functioned during this test for only 15 to 20 minutes per charge. This is because an existing battery for mobile phones was used, the company said.

In order to get this new handset to mass production there must be done some retouches. First of all, it’s necessary to reduce the heat generated from the projector module, then the power consumption, the cost and, why not, the size of the projector module.

It’s a great concept, there’s no doubt about it, but would it see the light of the day? I don’t know about you, but the company is confident in the success the projector will score, and plans to mount it after three years at earliest, “but only in the highest-end models”.

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