STMicro wants to bring pico-projectors to mass market smartphones next year

You’ve probably heard of Samsung’s Galaxy Beam Android smartphone, which has a built-in pico-projector. Well, many more handsets like that could be introduced soon, thanks to STMicroelectronics. The Swiss-based company has announced it acquired “the intellectual property and has hired most of the staff” of bTendo – an Israeli start-up that’s been collaborating with ST for a couple of years now.

ST will combine bTendo’s Scanning Laser Projection engine with its own technologies and know-how to bring pico-projectors to more smartphones, as well as laptops and other devices. bTendo can make projection engines fit “in a module smaller than 1.7 cubic centimeters, and less than 5mm high” – thus making them perfect for ultra-slim smartphones.

ST has already sent samples of their new pico-projectors to potential customers. According to EE Times, we should start seeing smartphones using them as soon as next year (2013).

The Samsung Galaxy Beam (pictured above) features an ST-Ericsson dual-core processor, and, although I haven’t seen this specified anywhere, its pico-projector technology is probably related to ST as well.

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Author: Florin

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  • Aaron

    Hey Florin, to answer your open-ended assumption, the pico projector in the Samsung Galaxy Beam is actually based on Texas Instruments DLP technology:

  • Orion512

    I think laser projection technology might not be the way to go unless it goes drastically cheaper. However, this is sure to get the attention of other chipset manufactuers like Texas instruments and AAXA Technologies. I don’t think Microvision is really healthy enough to compete in this field anymore.