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New 3D Applications for CE Digital Projectors

Global sales of digital projectors were slow in the first half this year. Global Q2 volumes reached nearly 1.3 million units, representing a 16 percent year-on-year drop from Q2 2008, according to the latest market study by Futuresource.

With buyers continuing to hold back on spending, the corporate sector is expected to remain relatively flat for the rest of the year. However, the education market continues to offer strong growth opportunities, with budget levels remaining relatively unaffected.

To underline this point, Q2 sales of interactive whiteboards have grown by 35 percent year-on-year, reaching 180,000 units globally. The second half of 2009 is expected to experience numerous large RFPs, with many emerging countries seeking to invest in IT for their education infrastructures.

While overall market volumes have been weak, some bright spots include the continued emergence of the short throw and Wide XGA categories. With many whiteboard vendors now offering all-in-one board and projector combinations, the short throw solution is proving popular with end users and now represents 10 percent of the market.

The W-XGA category also continues to gain traction as corporate customers increasingly seek to pair the resolution of notebook computers and projectors. W-XGA reached 6 percent of the market in Q2, representing nearly 130 percent year-on-year growth.

High brightness LED based projectors targeting the business to business market are widely expected to have a significant market impact due to the long lifetime and low cost of ownership, perfect for applications such as education, where maintenance costs can be significant.

One of the hot topics in the electronics industry at present is 3D. With 3D movie production intensifying and 3D titles having an encouraging effect on box office revenues the entertainment and consumer electronics industry are keen to drive 3D into the home.

Projectors are in a strong position to take advantage of this roll out of 3D in the home as the consumer experience of 3D viewing is likely to only be enhanced the larger the picture displayed.

One of the other hot products in the projectors market is the new category of Pico Projectors -- tiny battery-powered projection devices. With the portable form factor, low price points and a high flexibility of usage, these products are perfect companion devices for a wide variety of mobile products.

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