News Column

Patent Issued for Positioning Interfaces for Projection Display Devices

February 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventor Plut, William J. (Los Altos, CA), filed on December 26, 2012, was published online on February 4, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8641209, is Transpacific Image, LLC (Wilmington, DE).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates to display devices that project an image. More particularly, the present invention relates to projector designs that reduce package size, improve heat management, and increase usage flexibility.

"Most computer systems employ a display device to output video information to one or more users. Desktop computers, laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), video game consoles, cellular telephones and digital video cameras output video information to a number of video display technologies.

"Projection-type display systems are a relatively new display technology--and offer image sizes having diagonal spans up to 30 feet. A recent increase in projector sales has been motivated by boardroom and classroom usage where numerous people in a large space can simultaneously view a projected image. Consumer demand in this aspect of the market has led manufacturers to evolve projectors towards increasingly powerful and feature-rich products. As a result, consumer selection is restricted to expensive and bulky `cinder-block` designs.

"Imperfect and realistic environment conditions complicate the use of conventional cinder-block projector designs. It is common for light output by a projector to encounter physical obstacles--either along a projection path between a projection lens and receiving surface, at the receiving surface, or both. A projector used in an office or home may encounter a wide variety of projection path obstacles such as plants, bookshelves, chairs, other miscellaneous furniture, etc., that limit where the projector is placed and where the image is cast. Conventional projectors have scanty means for positioning an image and avoiding obstacles, often resorting to moving the projector (often to another table) for horizontal image positioning or propping it up under one or more books or other objects for vertical image positioning. The lack of mobility for a projector fixed to a ceiling adds to the current lack of image placement control.

"Based on the foregoing, it should be apparent that portable visual display options are still limited and that alternatives would be desirable."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The present invention relates to devices that provide projection-type video output in a portable and flexible design. The design includes a projection chamber, a base, and an interface that permits relative positioning between the projection chamber and base. The base maintains the position of the display device. The projection chamber includes components responsible for the production of images based on received video data and components responsible for the projection of those images. Relative pointing between the projection chamber and base allows the projection chamber to be pointed--and an output projected image to be positioned--with minimal effort.

"Relative pointing between a projection chamber and base enables an image-receiving surface to vary according to an environment or application. In one embodiment, the positioning interface includes two degrees of freedom that allow a user to point the projection chamber and position an image in many directions relative to the base. This permits projection at odd angles, such as those encountered with projector usage in confined spaces such as an office cubicle. Alternately, for a positioning interface comprising an elongated stem or neck, the present invention enables image projection onto a tabletop that the base rests upon. The present invention also allows re-positioning of a projected image on multiple walls and surfaces without moving the projector base.

"In one aspect, the present invention relates to a display device. The display device comprises a base, a projection chamber, and a positional interface. The base includes a housing and a light source within the housing. The projection chamber includes a) a projection chamber housing, b) an optical modulation device configured to selectively transmit light generated by the light source according to video data included in a video signal provided to the optical modulation device, and c) a projection lens system configured to output light transmitted by the optical modulation device along a projection path. The positional interface is coupled to the base and coupled to the projection chamber, allows the projection chamber to be moved relative to the base, and allows the projection chamber to maintain a constant position relative to the base after being moved.

"In another aspect, the present invention relates to a display device. The display device comprises a light source chamber, a projection chamber, and a positional interface. The light source chamber includes a housing, a light source within the housing, and a power source within the housing configured to provide power to the light source. The projection chamber includes a) a projection chamber housing, b) an optical modulation device configured to selectively transmit light generated by the light source according to video data included in a video signal provided to the optical modulation device, and c) a projection lens system configured to output light transmitted by the optical modulation device along a projection path. The positional interface is coupled to the light source chamber and coupled to the projection chamber, allows the projection chamber to be moved relative to the light source chamber, and allows the projection chamber to maintain a constant position relative to the light source chamber after being moved.

"In yet another aspect, the present invention relates to a display device. The display device comprises a base, an about cylindrical projection chamber, and a positional interface. The base includes a housing and a light source. The projection chamber includes a) a projection chamber housing, b) an optical modulation device configured to selectively transmit light generated by the light source and a projection lens system configured to output light transmitted by the optical modulation device along a projection path that is collinear with an axis of the about cylindrical projection chamber housing. The positional interface is coupled to the base housing and coupled to the projection chamber housing at a location between an aft end of the projection chamber that includes the optical modulation device and a forward end that includes an output lens of the projection lens system. The positional interface allows the projection chamber to be moved relative to the base, and allows the projection chamber to maintain a constant position relative to the base after being moved.

"In another aspect, the present invention relates to a method for projecting video output from a display device. The method comprises projecting the video output towards a first location in response to a user pointing a projection lens included in the display device in a first direction. The method also comprises projecting the video output towards a second location in response to the user pointing the projection lens in a second direction. The projection lens is pointed in the second direction without the user changing positioning between an object that supports the display device and a portion of the display device that includes a light source for generating light.

"These and other features of the present invention will be presented in more detail in the following detailed description of the invention and the associated figures.

"Before committing to the Detailed Description, it may facilitate understanding to clarify certain words and phrases used in this patent document: the terms 'include' and 'comprise,' as well as derivatives thereof, mean inclusion without limitation; the term 'or,' is inclusive, meaning and/or; the phrases 'associated with' and 'associated therewith,' as well as derivatives thereof, may mean to include, be included within, interconnect with, contain, be contained within, connect to or with, couple to or with, be communicable with, cooperate with, be proximate to, be bound to or with, have, have a property of, or the like. Support and definitions for certain words and phrases are provided throughout this patent document, and those of ordinary skill in the art should understand that in many, if not most instances, such support applies to prior, as well as future uses of such words and phrases."

For more information, see this patent: Plut, William J.. Positioning Interfaces for Projection Display Devices. U.S. Patent Number 8641209, filed December 26, 2012, and published online on February 4, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=108&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=5393&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140204.PD.&OS=ISD/20140204&RS=ISD/20140204

Keywords for this news article include: Transpacific Image LLC.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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