Small pico-projectors might be coming in 2012

You know how pico-projectors are getting smaller these days? Well, soon they will get as small as a pinkie finger. They are designed to be put in a laptop or smartphone.

The imager is still a micro mirror device (MMD), but by using separate red, blue, and green lasers as a light source, they were able to dump the bulky power-robbing color wheel used in LED based projectors.

Resolution is standard definition at 640 x 480, so it’s not exactly going to be running your home theater, but that’s not the intended use. The tiny light source means that the projector always remains in focus at any distance, projecting a 15-inch image from about 20-inches away. No word yet on how bright it is.

This company, Lemoptix, says that this projector could be used in heads-up displays in cars with some embedded smartphone and laptop apps in 2012.