Microprojectors were first introduced commercially in 2005 with 15 lumen
output and since then have been introduced by multiple additional vendors. For
purposes of this report, a microprojector is small enough to fit in a laptop
bag but uses enough power to require an AC power connection. The unit may or
may not have an internal media player. Sales to date have been modest but
respectable and significant growth in this market is expected in the future.
Component suppliers, projection optical module makers, projector system makers
and others need to understand the consumer and business needs in this market
in order to provide products that sell in significant quantities. This report
is designed to address this need.
Careful evaluation of the technology, markets and end-user needs are required
to create forecasts that are realistic. This sober and independent evaluation
is required to understand and plan for developments in the microprojector
market, as well as the market for pico/micro projectors in general.
The pico/micro projector market can be broken into seven market segments, as
shown in the Table below. This report addresses two segments: Consumer
Microprojectors and Presentation Microprojectors. Separate reports discuss the
other segments, with the Smart Phone Handset, Digital Camera and Stand-alone
Picoprojector reports already available. Insight Media expects to add a report
on Projectors with Hybrid Illumination to this series.
Part 1 of this report covers the technology, human factors and market drivers
that are common for all seven market segments. This common section has been
updated and expanded from the common section used in Smart Phone Handset,
Digital Camera and Stand-alone Picoprojector reports, to include new
information that became available in 2011.
Part 2 of the report then takes a deep-dive into how this general information
applies to microprojectors. Due to the strong crossover between consumer and
business oriented microprojectors, this report covers both of these segments.
Part 2 also provides optimistic, conservative and expected sales forecasts
through 2016 for microprojectors for both consumer and business applications.
These forecasts involve unit sales, revenue to the microprojector module
manufacturers and overall industry revenue from retail sales.
Some key findings of this report include:
- The best way to group pico/micro projectors is by use-model rather than by
- There is no hard-and-fast line between a "Pico" and a "Micro" projector.
Rather, there is a smooth gradation from lowest to highest in all properties,
including resolution, lumen output, power consumed, size and price.
- DLP currently dominates the microprojector industry. Some CS-LCoS
projectors are also available. Scanning laser systems and CFA-LCoS are not
seen as suitable for use in this market.
- In the future, end-users will demand higher output microprojectors.
- RGB LEDs currently dominate the microprojector market. RGB lasers will
also be usable when the cost and availability issues with lasers are solved.
- Most microprojectors are used for multiple application types.
- Virtually all microprojectors are used at least part-time for
entertainment content including both professional and user-generated. This
includes video, still images and console gaming.
- Most microprojectors are also used for presentations. These
presentations can be made by "Road Warriors" with larger corporations; small
businessmen or consultants; or individuals presenting for volunteer groups
such as churches, food co-ops or the Boy Scouts.
- Pico/micro projector manufacturers and retailers must compete directly
with other mobile display technologies for the end-users' eyeballs.
- In the microprojector market, the technology most in competition with
microprojectors are mainstream projectors with lamps or large, non-mobile
LCD or plasma displays.
- Microprojectors are also in competition for the end user dollars, which
can be spent on systems such as tablet computers. This may leave end-users
without enough money for a microprojector, even if the user wishes to buy
- End user's largest concern in the Microprojector and other pico/micro
projector markets is the image size that can be made under various ambient
- Companies that claim very large image sizes from their microprojectors
are doing themselves and the industry a disservice by setting unrealistic
expectations among end users.
- The range of forecasts for microprojectors (from our conservative to our
optimistic) in the out-years of this study is fairly large. Insight Media sees
three major factors contributing to this range:
- Price and availability of large, direct view displays.
- Lamp lifetime in mainstream projectors and availability of hybrid
illumination systems with very long life.
- Acceptance by the end user of projection technology. End users have
shown a strong preference for direct view technology in the past, when
projection and direct view were comparable in price.
Insight Media used a wide variety of sources of information for this report,
- Evaluation of the technology, supply chain, market and costs of:
- Components for microprojectors, including light sources, microdisplays,
other optics and electronics.
- Optical modules for microprojectors.
- Microprojector manufacturers.
- Microprojector brands.
- Communications with a large number of individuals and companies involved
in the solid-state projection market:
- Company visits.
- At Trade shows.
- At scientific/technical conferences.
- Via telephone and e-mail.
- Press releases, white papers and other communications from companies in
- Websites of relevant companies.
- Other news sources, especially including on-line news sources and blogs.
- Published scientific, technical and business-oriented papers and
- End user feedback, mostly in the form of on-line reviews at sites like
Amazon.com, Best Buy, Google, etc.
- Formal product reviews conducted by Insight Media and others.
- Historical and forecast unit sales data from other market research firms.
Note: the forecasts in Section 8 are exclusively Insight Media's and do
not necessarily agree with forecasts from other research firms.
Forecasts were made by evaluating historical trends in mainstream, micro and
pico projectors and comparing these trends with end-user requirements and the
technology required to meet these requirements.
Insight Media forecasts show business and home markets separately. Because of
the strong crossover between home and business markets, sales of a given model
of microprojector would commonly be split between these two market segments.
This report does not sub-divide the forecast by technology. The market is
currently nearly 100% DLP. Penetration of CS-LCoS into the market is modest
but expected to increase in the future.
Who Should Buy:
Technology planners, marketing planners, business development managers, senior
executives, engineering managers and researchers who are:
- Manufacturers of optical, electronic and mechanical components for
- Including microdisplays, MEMS mirrors, LEDs and lasers for these
- Manufacturers of pico/micro projector modules.
- Manufacturers of picoprojectors, microprojectors and other systems
incorporating solid-state illumination.
- Including system component suppliers such as suppliers of media player
chips and software or video interfacing technology.
- CE brands with a current or potential interest in either microprojectors
or technologies competing with microprojectors.
- Retailers, both brick & mortar and on-line.
- Technology development companies and organizations.
- Research institutes and organizations.