Proxima introduces projection system

Proxima Corp., a San Diego-based maker of presentation devices, last week announced two new high-resolution projector and panel systems that will be targeted at federal customers.

The announcements are the latest in a series of product rollouts expected this spring and summer. In May, for example, Proxima announced its MediaExpress technology, which provides support for Adobe Acrobat Exchange software.

The latest products are the Desktop Projector 9100XGA, the company's first high-resolution projector, and the Ovation+ 944, a panel system.

Small Size, Bright Screen

Designed to be portable, the 9100XGA is half the size of competing models. Proxima officials said it is the brightest projection system available on the market, providing 300 American National Standards Institute lumens. The brightness will make the system more useful in rooms with diverse lighting conditions, company officials said.

"The trend in the business is toward high resolution, and these products are Proxima's response to that," said Bill Coggshall, an analyst with Pacific Media Associates, Mountain View, Calif. Coggshall added that Proxima needs these products to regain its market leadership position, which has been lost to In Focus Systems Inc., Wilsonville, Ore.

Coggshall agreed that Proxima's new projector is significantly smaller than competing models. "They've used an unusual design to be able to implement today's technology in a relatively compact unit," he said. "Competitive designs have been 30 pounds or more. Proxima's is definitely more port-able, and portability is a key thing that users hunger for."

Coggshall said the projector market is growing at a rate of 30 to 50 percent, while the panel market is flat or headed down.

The Ovation+ 944 is an active-matrix, liquid-crystal display projection panel that offers 24-bit color and supports high-speed data rates.

The projection system and the panel offer the company's "fit to view" technology, which allows 1,280-by-1,024 images to be viewed on a 1,024-by-768 screen. They both also offer optional MediaExpress support, which means users can display Acrobat Portable Document Format files without a computer. Both presentation systems work with PCs, Macintoshes and Unix workstations, and both systems offer integrated audio.

The Army is evaluating both units for a mobile command and control system, said Christine Jorgensen, a product marketing engineer at Proxima. "They're using the projector and the panels as displays. They're interested in our units because of the high image quality and the portability and the broad range of compatibility," she said.

Other government applications for these devices are training, computer-aided design, geographic information systems, visualization and simulation, Jorgensen said.

The Ovation+ 944, which shipped two weeks ago, retails for $8,495. The 9100XGA, which will retail for $16,995, will ship in August. Both products will be added to the General Services Administration schedule through Government Technology Services Inc.

About 30 percent of Proxima's sales are to government customers.

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