Technology giant Apple has been granted a patent for new laser-based projector technology that could be used in either standalone projectors or in laptops, smartphones or tablets.
Apple filed US Patent 8,502,926, entitled ‘Display system having coherent and incoherent light sources,’ on 30 September 2009 and was granted earlier this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The mixture of laser and incandescent light sources “operating in concert" can be combined to project a single image, Apple said, and the technology could be used in its full-size guise for standalone projectors. It could also be scaled down to pico-projector size for use in devices including laptops “or other handheld devices”.
Laser-based projectors can offer up a far better resolution than projectors with incandescent light sources, the Apple patent points out, although it did also say that laser-based projectors need more power in order to run.
“Because of their greater power consumption requirements," The Register reported that the patent read, "laser based display systems also may include complicated cooling circuitry and thus result in more bulky projection equipment."
Apple also has another pico-projector patent currently in the pipeline at the US Patent and Trademark Office. It filed the patent application, "Projected Display Shared Workspaces", in February 2010 which focused on the sharing of image data by laptops, tablets and smartphones and how those images could be combined into one display.