Microscanner provides interactive laser projection

1st March 2017
Enaie Azambuja

”The exciting developments in the IoT are advancing at an amazing pace and Bosch Sensortec continues to drive innovations,” says Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec, "It is not just about how devices communicate or sense their surrounding environments, but increasingly about how technology interacts with human beings. Laser projected virtual interfaces are a new fascinating solution in a world of previously undreamed of opportunities."

A core component of this solution that enables focus-free laser projection and turns any surface into a virtual user interface (UI) is the BML050 - a high-precision MEMS scanner for interactive laser projection applications. The virtual UI solution gives any kind of device a unique personality of its own, enabling technology to interact with people, to make life simpler and more exciting.

With the help of the BML050, a precise on-demand UI can be created for the interconnected world of the IoT, e.g. for home appliances, tablets and social robots. The BML050 is a ground-breaking solution for embedded projectors and augmented reality applications such as games, infotainment and in-car head-up displays. With this solution devices can interact in complex, intuitive and convenient ways to merge their function with our everyday lives.

With the BML050 microscanner Bosch Sensortec is extending its current portfolio by optical microsystems. The scanner includes two tiny MEMS mirrors to project an RGB color laser onto any surface to create a projected image. The BML050 is both compact and power efficient, making it ideal for space- and power-restricted devices.

Bosch Sensortec provides a ready to use projector reference design including an RGB light source. This facilitates fast evaluation and saves design-in time to give early adopters an important head start. Interactivity is enabled by a photo diode that measures the reflected light intensity pixel by pixel - no calibration required.

Bosch Sensortec’s solution provides outstanding projection quality by means of advanced speckle reduction and precise control of the MEMS scanning mirrors and laser diodes. The BML050 projection principle eliminates the need for focus adjustment tasks, and the native laser color-space vastly exceeds industry standards, such as Adobe®RGB.

Bosch Sensortec’s MEMS scanner is based on a well-established and robust core technology housed in compact wafer-level module packages. At the core of our system, there are two independent, hermetically-encapsulated MEMS scanning mirrors, which are optically aligned for fast and easy integration. The BML050 also includes a video processor, control circuits, laser drivers and power management ICs.

The partitioning of the BML050 supports a wide range of applications, significantly cutting down time to market deadlines, giving customers an edge at this early-adopter stage in the market's development.

Bosch Sensortec provides software support for major operating systems and is ready to assist customers with operation and parameter configurations as well as hardware integration and calibration tasks. The BML050 will be available for selected customer projects in the second half of 2017.

The market research company IHS Markit predicts that between 2017 and 2020, revenues from MEMS scanning mirrors will increase at a healthy CAGR of 18%*.

“MEMS scanners are currently emerging for a wide range of use cases,*” explains Jérémie Bouchaud, Director MEMS & Sensors at IHS Markit. “The Bosch Sensortec MEMS scanner BML050 enables two functions in one product, namely projection display and gesture user interface. Other new use cases of MEMS scanners include e.g. adaptive headlights and automotive head up displays.”

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