This might be the one and only time you ever hear a trade show exhibitor utter these words: “We love the fact that we have a small booth tucked in the back of the hall with bad lighting.”
But that is exactly what the folks at Crystal Screens said during CEDIA 2016. Why? Because, according to director of marketing/communications and industry veteran Mary Ann Giorgio, the poor lighting in the company’s booth enabled Crystal Screens to showcase its Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screens made from space-age “nanolens” technology.
The screens are unlike any other screen material on the market. They were developed for the U.S. government by Luminit LLC, Crystal Screens’ parent company, to use with holographic technology … think of the “holodeck” from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
The flexible, bendable material has holographic optical elements actually embedded in the screen material, then a clear thin film is applied and it is metalized.
In the company’s small booth (right in front of the bathrooms so traffic was good), Giorgio, along with director of sales Dave Cusick and production engineer Andrew Kochi, set up a short-throw projector showing the animated movie “Up” on two side-by-side screens.
The difference was startling. The animation and colors were visible in the Crystal Screens unit and almost completely washed out in the conventional screen.
Giorgio calls the technology one of the first substantial developments in front projection screens in decades. The nanolens technology results in excellent ambient light rejection, zero hot spots, wide viewing angle and high gain.
“The viewing angle and ambient light rejection are so good that we’re showing the screen in a brightly-lit location so dealers and integrators can see how well it performs,” notes Cusick. “Whether it’s installed in a dedicated home theater or a brightly-lit media room, the screen is an ideal match for the latest projectors and can enhance the performance of older or moderately-priced projectors.”
Originally developed for the aerospace industry by optical scientists, Crystal Screens’ holographic technology creates a random surface that manipulates light energy.
Unlike other screens where gain is reduced as the viewing angle increases, Crystal Screens provides a gain of 2.5 with a 120° viewing angle, making it well suited for home theaters, media rooms, conference rooms, classrooms, and other environments where ambient light is difficult to control. The nanolens technology also preserves polarization effect so one screen can be used for both 2D and 3D viewing.
Designed and manufactured in Torrance, Calif., the fixed screens ship unassembled via UPS, reducing shipping costs and lead times.
Other benefits include the ability to produce endless screen lengths with no seaming and excellent contrast and black levels in bright, dim or dark environments.
“Crystal Screens' patented technology is unique to Crystal Screens and cannot be duplicated,” concludes Cusick. “It will not be sold online and custom integrators will appreciate the performance, the quality and fast turnaround times that comes with designing and manufacturing in the United States.”
From a price perspective, the screens are competitive, falling in the $2,000 to $3,000 price range depending the screen size. The company will be selling via reps directly to dealers.
Crystal Screens is a division of Luminit LLC, a privately held technology company specializing in custom and standard holographic diffusers based on multiple technology patents. Luminit’s commercial experience covers applications including LED lighting, architectural lighting, bio-medical illumination, semiconductor metrology, aerospace, automotive, laser and display applications.