Belgian projector firm, Barco, and screen operator, IMAX, are working together on the development of a laser projector for use with IMAX screens.

Under the seven-year deal, Barco will be the sole provider of the digital projector technology for IMAX. The laser-based technology will include IMAX’s digital laser patents from Kodak as well as laser projector technology from Barco. The deal means that Kodak patents will be sub-licensed to Barco.

It is understood that the firms aim to deploy the new projectors by the second half of this year. Under the deal, Barco are taking over from previous supplier, Christie. Both Barco and Imax have been at the cutting edge of laser projector technology.

Whilst the new deal overcomes IMAX’s problem of manufacturing projectors, a number of challenges remain for the new partners. These include retrofitting laser-based solutions and power supply. Cost, regulation and screen speckle are also issues that will need to be considered.

Todd Hoddick, Vice President for the Barco Entertainment Division, said, “We are honoured to have been selected by IMAX as their worldwide and exclusive digital projection technology partner.”

He added, “We are both excited and committed to bring the full weight of Barco's operational excellence, integrity and ability to deliver on the ideals of the IMAX brand. Together we are determined to redefine the immersive cinema experience.”