MANHASSET, NY Upstream Engineering, a Finnish developer of advanced optical technology for tiny projectors, has received seed money to finance development of the technology for use in commercial products.
Upstream's photo vacuum technology create lighting engines that maximize the light power extracted from a low-power light source such as an LED. Photon vacuum technology enables designs that are significantly smaller in size and consume a fraction of the power used in current lighting engines.
"There are numerous interesting opportunities in consumer, business and specialty applications, and we'll be looking at global markets right from launch," said Juha Ruohonen, managing partner of Holtron Ventures, one of the investors. The other fund is managed by Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.
According to the company, the photon vacuum technology maximizes the amount of photons sent to the target from the light source in a minimum space. This is considered a disruptive technology feat since light requires more space for better efficiency.
Upstream also said its design eliminates various energy-wasting components currently used in projectors. While current table projectors typically extract only a few watts of light from 200W of input power, photon vacuum's could achieve power consumption of 4 watts in a matchbox-sized color projector, Upstream claimed.
"With the increased resource base, we expect to be ready for a commercial launch of the first version of photon vacuum in spring 2005", said Mikko Alasaarela, CEO of Upstream (Oulu, Finland).
Upstfream's five-member team has experience in both optics and electronics as well as embedded software. It currently provides design services for custom mini-projectors.
Upstream appointed Pekka Roine, former president of DEC Finland and chairman of Solid Information Technology, as chairman of its board of directors. Roine, a resident of Switzerland, is experienced in the commercialization of new technologies.
Another board member, William Paulin of San Diego, will help bring the European technology to the U.S. market.
Upstream is currently in the proof-of-concept phase for its patent-pending technology, which was initially developed in 2003.