The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Samsung that reveals that reveals their work on what the industry refers to as a Pico-Projector. Samsung states that their invention relates generally to a projector, and more particularly to a micro-projector including a light source, such as a Light Emitting Diode (LED) and a lamp, an illumination optical system, and a projection optical system. Today, trying to integrate a pico-projector into a smartphone is a challenge because of the bulky projection system. Samsung believes that they've found a way around that problem.
Company's Patent Background
Recently, micro-projector related technologies have been rapidly developing, for projecting and displaying data or a moving/still picture stored in a display unit, such as a portable phone, a computer, an MP3 player, or a compact digital camera, to the outside of the display unit as an image. A conventional micro-projector includes a micro flat panel display unit, such as a Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD) or a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that has a relatively small volume and weight.
In addition, the conventional projector includes an illumination optical system and a projection optical system. The illumination optical system refers to an optical system arranged to an optical path from a light source to the display unit, and the projection optical system refers to an optical system arranged to an optical path from the display unit to an external screen.
There is a demand for a reduced size for such a projector in order to incorporate the projector within a compact display unit. However, if the projector is manufactured so small to be housed within a compact display unit, a problem arises in that the optical devices of the illumination optical system and the projection optical system interfere with each other. For example, since an optical device of the optical system is positioned on the optical path of the projection system, the optical device may block a part of the light to be provided to the projection optical system.
Samsung's Micro-Projector Solution
Samsung's latest invention provides a micro-projector which enables efficient miniaturization of the micro-projector by compensating for light loss, which is caused as projected light is partially blocked by an optical device of an illumination optical system, as much as possible, and which is capable of suppressing a ghost or stray light phenomenon which occurs on a screen or at the periphery thereof as the screen is reduced in size.
According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a projector for projecting out light that forms an image on an external screen, including at least one light source configured to output a light, a display unit comprising a plurality of pixel elements and configured to form an image by controlling the pixel elements according to a driving signal, an illumination optical system comprising at least one lens and mirror arranged on a first optical axis, and configured to output the light output from the light source to the display unit through the mirror, and a projection optical system comprising at least one lens arranged on a second optical axis intersecting the first optical axis, and configured to output the light output from the display unit to the outside, wherein a preset offset is provided between the second optical axis of the projection optical system and the central axis of the display unit.
Samsung's patent FIG. 1 above is a diagram illustrating a basic construction of a micro-projector and patent FIG. 2 below is a diagram illustrating a detailed construction of a projection optical system.
Samsung's patent application was originally filed under serial number 571038 in Q3 2012 in the US and in 2011 in Korea.
A Note to Tech Sites covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your co-operation.
Patent Bolt presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. About Comments: Patent Bolt reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.