SAN JOSE, USA: The Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA) has launched with the goals of explaining the benefits of laser illuminated projectors, advocating for a positive regulatory environment, and developing appropriate training guidelines.
The announcement was made by the LIPA Advisory Committee, composed of industry leaders Barco, Christie Digital, Eastman Kodak, IMAX Corp., Laser Light Engines, NEC Display Solutions, Necsel/Ushio Ltd, and Sony.
"LIPA will provide an important and appropriate vehicle for the industry to work cooperatively in fostering a welcoming business and regulatory environment," stated Pete Lude of Sony, a member of the advisory committee. "We are excited about actively participating in accomplishing LIPA's objectives."
In a laser illuminated projector, the light source is a system of red, green and blue (RGB) lasers. Experts have stated that the use of lasers as the illumination source in digital cinema projectors has several important financial and quality benefits over current illumination technology. These benefits include dramatic reduction of operating costs through increased lifetime and reduction of maintenance, uniform image color and intensity, as well as increased 3D brightness.
The use of lasers, however, currently requires obtaining a variance from various regulatory agencies – in the U.S. this is known specifically as a "laser light show variance". This process does not reflect the industry's maturation or its move into theater settings. Even though the emitted projection doesn't have safety issues associated with conventional "laser light", outdated regulations still require this emitted light to be legally treated as a "high powered laser light show" because the light was originally generated with a laser device.
LIPA will develop unified messages in rationalizing laser regulations and in communicating laser benefits to key constituencies. Also, companies will need a venue like LIPA to create and provide evaluation methods. LIPA's founding companies believe that key groups such as theater owners/operators and regulatory officials will be willing to work with the new association.
LIPA's Advisory Committee has set guiding principles that include:
* Fostering a positive and receptive business environment for laser-based projectors.
* Focusing on professionally operated laser illuminated projectors greater than or equal to 5000 lumens.
* Promoting education and best practices throughout the value chain.
* Communicating the benefits of laser illumination.
The development of laser illuminated projectors is progressing. Kodak, for example, demonstrated an 11K lumen digital projector in October 2010. Laser Light Engines and Necsel are producing laser arrays. Other product prototypes and introductions are expected throughout 2011.