Pico projectors just keep shrinking, and a new prototype developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Engineering is helping said shrinking along pretty strikingly. The team has developed a prototype pico which is just 6mm thick, making it the world's slimmest ever. Better yet, the projected image is 10 times brighter than a pico projector of its size would have previously been -- had it existed. The new lens on the projector is so small that it could potentially be integrated into smart phones without boosting size or weight. The new prototype is made of 45 red, green or blue microlenses, each with a 200 x 200 pixel LCD, inspired by a microlens array called a fly's eye condenser. The resulting resolution is nearly, but not quite, WVGA with 11 lumens of brightness. The prototype will be shown off at Nano Tech 2011 in Tokyo.

[Image credit: Fraunhofer Institute]

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German researchers prototype 6mm thick pico projector