Dust is everywhere

All electronic products are exposed to airborne dust throughout their lifetime.

This is not generally a problem for most consumer products but for professional applications, such as museums or attractions, where projectors need to operate around the clock, the build-up of dust particles can potentially compromise the quality of the image projected, affect the overall performance of a projector and shorten its lifetime.

 

Dust-sealed filter-free design

Optoma’s ProScene laser projectors are precision engineered with a unique optical dust-sealed, filter-free design that prevents dust and dirt affecting the system. The projectors need very little maintenance as there are no filters to remove and clean, therefore minimising downtime for the venue.  In addition, Optoma’s ProScene DuraCore laser line-up all come with an IPXX independent dust resistant certification.

 

What is an IPXX certification

An IP rating stands for ingress protection and basically states how well the equipment is protected from dust or liquids.  The IP code, published by the International Electrotechnical Commission, rates the degree of protection given by the electrical equipment casings against dust or water. The standard provides consumers with more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as ‘dustproof or waterproof’. Independent Ingress Protection tests are conducted in accordance with IEC 60529.

 Optoma ProScene ZU850 laser projector

ZU850 gets top marks for dust resistance

We recently sent our 8,200-lumen ZU850 laser phosphor ProScene projector to an independent IP test lab. The researchers placed the projector in a dust chamber and exposed the unit to airborne circulating dust for 8 hours at 25 °C ± 10 °C.

On completion of the test the black unit was caked white with dust but was found to be dust tight with no dust passing through the airtight optical engine and functional operation unaffected.

The ZU850 was awarded the highest classification of IP6X – which offers a completely dust free protection for the device.

 

 

Laser-phosphor technology: science fiction now science fact

Laser-phosphor technology is advancing rapidly. But what is it, what are the advantages of this technology and for what applications is it best suited?

There are many advantages of lamp-less laser-phosphor light source technology.  For example:
•    There is no lamp and therefore maintenance requirements are minimal
•    Brightness is more consistent than lamp-based projectors, which are subject to brightness fluctuations as the lamp is used (brightness decay) and replaced
•    It is quieter due to higher efficiency and so less requirement for cooling
•    Colour reproduction is brilliant
•    Due to the solid state light engine, the projector is able to operate in unusual positions, including portrait and downward projection

As a result of these benefits, laser-phosphor projectors are ideal for venues where ceilings are high and the projector is fairly inaccessible for maintenance, such as university lecture theatres, digital signage applications and museums/professional installations where usage hours tend to be higher and there are accessibility/maintenance restrictions.

It is also ideal for quieter environments such as smaller meeting rooms or those with low ceilings.

With such a wide choice of projectors – lamp-based, LED and laser - it is important to look at the application and venue to ascertain whether a laser-phosphor projector is the best solution.

If the projector is needed for lengthy usage with minimal downtime or the projector would be fairly inaccessible after installation, then this may be the best option.  

Also if colour accuracy is important, it may also be the best choice – although the colour performance of lamp-based DLP projectors varies with the type of colour wheel used. Some, like Optoma’s EH7700, provide colour wheels options so the colour performance and brightness can be tailored to the application – so it is important to look at all factors.

Optoma has recently expanded its range of laser-phosphor ProScene projectors with the 6,000-lumen ZU650 and the ultra-wide short throw, ZH300W.

The technical bit
Unlike the laser beams you may have seen in Bond films, no raw laser light is emitted from the lens of the projector.  So how does it work and what is the difference between laser and laser-phosphor projectors?

With a pure laser - the red, green and blue light from three laser diode arrays (one each for red, green and blue) is combined then passed through an optical diffuser. It is this diffused light that is used to illuminate the projector’s DLP chip and produce the image.
 
A laser-phosphor projector is slightly different in that it uses one blue laser.  This blue light is diffused and used as the blue light component to illuminate the DLP chip. The blue laser is also used to energise a phosphor wheel that emits yellow light. This is then split into its red and green components and used to illuminate the DLP chip.

Projecting the future of retail

We are just back from the Retail Design Expo where we were showing off our projection solutions to retailers from across the UK.  With our partners Projection Artworks and Texas Instruments, we wowed visitors with projection mapped displays using Optoma’s LED and laser DLP projectors on sportswear, luxury goods including watches, technology products and FMCG.  

Projection mapping allows digital content to be applied on or around physical products or spaces.  Research has shown this makes a 41% increase in sales when compared to stores without projection.*

Laser and LED DLP projectors are now a cost effective retail display option. Projections can be daylight visible and maintenance costs for bulbs replacement have been eradicated through LED and laser technology which can provide an astonishing 20,000 hours of impressive, virtually maintenance-free operation.

Optoma's laser and LED projectors

Optoma projectors use DLP technology pioneered by Texas Instruments. This uses millions of mirrors to produce high quality imagery which does not suffer colour degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies.

The event saw UK debut of DisplayMapper that is set to change the face of retail.  DisplayMapper is the world’s first cloud-based, projection-mapping, content management and projector control system which has made global, scalable retail projection rollouts possible. Having created retail projection showstoppers like Harrods’ Faberge installation, Projection Artworks developed DisplayMapper for retailers that want to recreate this type of next-generation ‘magic’ on a smaller and more affordable scale. 

Retailers also saw a new dynamic solution for stores that can sweep marketing messages and imagery across their shop floor, wall and ceilings.  The Mirror Head from the Dynamic Projection Institute comprises a high-tech mirror that is digitally operated and can move either rapidly or slowly to project pictures, videos and text onto any surface.  

Tom Burch from Projection Artworks, Justin Halls from Optoma and Rob Hollands from creative agency Anthem hosted a session at the event’s main theatre to challenge ‘flat panel thinking’.  They shared how a recent POS retail experience installed in a major supermarket stimulated customer engagement and increased sales. 

*Based on Asda/Nestle trial in 10 stores Q4 2015

ISE 2016: OUR BEST BITS IN A NUTSHELL

We’re back from ISE. Thanks to everyone that came to see us during the four-day show. For those that missed the event, we thought we’d do a round-up of the best bits.

 World’s first 4K LED HLD was the star of the show

People were fascinated by the world’s first 4K LED HLD projector on our stand – not just because they could see all the components that make up a projector through the clear casing (which was really rather cool) – but because the colours in the projected image were pretty spectacular.

 This demonstration, produced in partnership with Texas Instruments and Phillips, showed the colour performance and accuracy that is produced from DLP projectors. It is no wonder that 80% of cinemas throughout the world use DLP projectors because of their image quality and colour accuracy!

Our second 4K demo showed a prototype ultra-high definition (UHD) display using the single-chip DLP design. This delivers more than eight million pixels to the screen with the millions of mirrors in the DLP chip capable of switching over 9,000 times per second. Impressive stuff!

PureTech Racing simulator was a blast!

The F1 full motion racing simulator from PureTech Racing proved to be a real crowd-puller. It combined ultra-realistic motion generation with a seamless curved display projected from three ultra mobile LED ML750e projectors.

Loads of visitors (including Optoma’s own James Fitzgerald) spun off unable to complete a full lap where others mastered the corners and chicanes and shrugged off the G force to put in very respectable lap times. 1st prize each day was a pair of Optoma NuForce BE6 wireless Bluetooth earphones, 2nd prize NE800M earphones and 3rd prize NE750M earphones. Winners* were:

Tuesday 9 February

1st Taco van Sambeek (1:10.276)

2nd Günter Lemberger (1:10.554)

3rd Dario Stancich (1:13. 824).

Wednesday 10 February

1st Dario Stancich (1:07.138)

2nd Liudas Vastakas (1:07.306)

3rd Matthew George Wilson-Taylor (1:09.676)

Thursday 11 February

1st Alex Germanis (1:08.060)

2nd Giuseppe Ferrarelli (1:09.438)

3rd Andika Pratama (1:10.102)

Friday 12 February

1st Dario Stancich (1:07.852)

2nd Lorenzo Savadori (1:09.374)

3rd Kasper Rasmussen (1:10.628)

 

Projectors going where flat screens couldn’t possibly follow!

There were loads of great ideas for retailers to create eye-catching displays.

Dynamic Projection Institute’s Mirror Head took the imagery from Optoma’s new ProScene ZU650 laser-phosphor projector and swooped it around visitors’ feet - grabbing their attention and literally stopping them in their tracks.

Super-size digital signage was created from two stacked 12,000 lumen projectors to create a 24,000-lumen ultra-bright 5 x 3.5 metre display that would be capable of continuous 24/7 operation. You’d never get a flat panel that size around a corner!

But it was the daylight-visible window displays and interactive product showcases that really captured people’s imaginations. Projection Artworks, the UK’s leading pioneer in projection-based retail solutions, showed off its Display Mapper software that applies animated content onto and around products - proven to generate greater engagement and sales to the shop floor. Virtual popcorn spilled out and down the stand and a watch came alive with geometric lines marching across its face.

Now, you can’t do any of that with an LCD flat screen!

Chilling out in the home zone

Visitors took a much-needed rest on our comfy sofas to watch live demonstrations of the ultra short throw projector, the GT5500 and the award-winning HD28DSE projector, which is engineered with DARBEE Visual Presence™ technology.

In this home zone they could also see Optoma’s expanded range of NuForce audio products including a new super-small DSD DAC and headphone amp - the uDAC5 – which was unveiled on Monday.

Please DO touch the exhibits!

People were invited to have a play with the finger touch interactive displays in the corporate and education area of the stand. At one point there were more than 20 people at the board writing their names, drawing cartoons and happily doodling.

The ultra-wide imagery came from Optoma’s new ultra-short throw laser-phosphor ZH300UW projector. Using a solid-state laser-phosphor light engine instead of traditional projector lamps, produces a brightness of 3,000 lumens and eliminates the need for any replacement lamps.

ISE 2016 took place 9-12 February at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam. Optoma’s partners include:

BRD Simulation Racing Technology/ PureTech Racing. BRD is well known within the motorsport industry for the credibility of its award winning simulator technology. For more than 20 years it has researched, designed developed and produced a constantly evolving range of motorsport simulation tools for the motorsport industry and advanced simulator racing centres. www.puretechracing.com

Dynamic Projection Institute develops innovative media technology for architecture, design, fashion and arts. Its key products are the Mirror Head and the MDC, Media on Demand Control, Media Console. www.dynamicprojection.com

Projection Artworks is the UK’s leading pioneer in projection-based retail solutions. With more than ten years’ experience in projections both large and small, it specialises in daylight-visible window displays, interactive product showcases and innovative POS concepts. www.projectionartworks.com

Texas Instruments is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company. It pioneered DLP® technology, which is used in all Optoma projectors. This uses millions of mirrors to produce high quality imagery which does not suffer colour degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies. www.ti.com/dlp

Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity.” Philips ColorSpark HLD LED projection system lets you see everything on the screen in sharp definition and clear colours. Its new technology emits four times the light of current LED technology, making the screen up to three times brighter while still keeping brilliant colour performance. www.philips.com/newscenter

 * Drivers with more than one top three time during ISE won one prize only.