QPC Lasers, Inc. announced last week that the company has received a contract for $3.5 million for red, green, and blue lasers to be used in a 3D projector system. This is in addition to the $12 million contract to produce lasers for Laser TVs that was announced last December. These are certainly some impressive numbers.
The details indicate that this is not likely to result in new 3D projectors showing up at stores next week. The new contract is to “develop and deliver“, which implies that there is more work to be done before they can start production to fulfill orders. Given the fact that we still have not seen a Laser TV for sale anywhere yet, I would suggest that it’s not yet time to start holding your breath.
It’s true that lasers are highly efficient and simplify some of the difficult problems related to light management in front- and rear-projection systems. They can also offer excellent color response and contrast. But they come with their own problems, such as “speckle” which gives solid colors a sparkling, textured appearance.
I expect that lasers will play a role in entertainment displays — especially the tiny ones that will eventually be embedded in cell phones — but I think we’re at least a year away from them being available in commercially significant quantities. So stay tuned…