A longstanding partnership between Waterloo Engineering researchers and a leading projection company has yielded new technology for a state-of-the-art laser projector.

A patented algorithm developed at the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Lab drives resolution enhancement in the new M 4K25 RBG projector produced by Christie, a global company with engineering headquarters in Kitchener.

Several years of research went into the technology – and produced published papers on enhancement of static images – before Alexander Wong, a professor of systems design engineering, helped come up with a new approach to enhance video.

'Higher quality and resolution'

“The algorithm takes in a video source, automatically gains an understanding of the video content characteristics, and creates precision pixel-shift projections of the video content, which appears at a higher quality and resolution,” says Wong, a director of the lab.

“The key is that the produced video projections have either significantly reduced or eliminated the types of artifacts, or visual imperfections, typically found in the projections in other pixel-shifting technologies, leading to much better visual quality.”

The collaboration between the VIP Lab and Christie began in 2013 and has now included three two-year projects, each of which involved eight to 10 graduate students and internships allowing them to dedicate two days a week to the research.

'Providing ideas and insight'

“Christie has interesting problems,” says Paul Fieguth, a systems design engineering professor and lab director who leads the overall collaboration. “The people at Christie appreciate the research aspect - we’re providing ideas and insight.”

With the video enhancement technology now commercialized in the new laser projector, which is considered an industry workhorse for visual projection, the partnership appears headed for a fourth project.

“We’re very pleased with the research collaboration with the University of Waterloo’s Vision and Image Processing Lab,” says Mark Lamm, a senior product developer at Christie. “We look forward to welcoming the next group of researchers to Christie.”