Industry Body Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA) Members Gather for Successful Annual Meeting
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – March 9th, 2020 – At its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) LIPA members heard positive industry growth analysis, agreed to align with industry experts on laser safety, and to continue their commitment to work with regulatory bodies to facilitate global regulatory harmonization.
At the AGM, held in Sonoma, California, LIPA members, who represent a large number of leading laser projector manufacturers, engaged in a series of top-level discussions and presentations. The day of presentations started with a report on LIPA’s 2019 accomplishments, from Chairman Goran Stojmenovik (Barco).
In his opening address, Stojmenovik’s key messages started with a confirmation to members that LIPA remains a strong and vibrant industry association. “The organization was and is highly focused this year on continued regulatory reform, including significant communication with the FDA in regard to the new Laser Notice #57 that was issued in May,” said Stojmenovik. “We want to be one of the best industry-representing organizations and we have worked hard to support, encourage and back our member companies in all areas related to this industry,” he added.
In follow up to those key messages, Stojmenovik presented a strong record of LIPA’s activity, including comprehensive external communications to members, the press and other relevant audiences, which, he said, is ever-evolving to keep members, regulatory bodies, customers, and the integrator sales channels as informed as possible. The organization also produced its first-ever webinar on new laser regulations this year, which was attended by more than 100 people.
LIPA Membership Chair Richard Miller (Epson) provided an update on new members, and plans for updated member benefits and recruiting plans for the new year. He emphasized that LIPA is very interested in feedback from members, as well as the industry at large, on how the association can best help promote adoption of laser illuminated projections for all applications, and the best methods LIPA can utilize to benefit and support existing and new members.
Continued Growth of Laser Projectors
Significantly, members heard fromRosemary Abowd, from key industry analyst and research firm PMA Research about the overall positive growth trends in the industry. In her keynote talk, Abowd presented new data from PMA’s research report, Market Trends In Projection Displays.
Abowd explained that while there is significant competition from flat panel displays and direct-view LED, the total projection market revenue remained stable compared to last year. A significant contributor to growth is the adoption of laser illumination in mainstream and high-end projectors, where laser phosphor accounted for about 10 per cent of unit sales but 40 per cent of revenue. According to PMA’s research, that trend is even more apparent in new product introductions, where 53 per cent of new professional products introduced during 2019 were either laser phosphor, RGB laser or LED/Laser. In the Digital Cinema market, laser illuminated projectors accounted for more than half of unit sales for the first time, during 2019. Looking ahead to 2020, PMA research forecasts increasing market penetration of laser illuminated digital cinema projectors with revenue share projected to account for more than 80% of digital cinema projector sales.
A Year of Regulatory Progress
A key mission for LIPA since its founding has been to push for the modernization of international regulations for laser illuminated projectors. LIPA Chair Stojmenovik provided a Regulatory Progress Report for 2019. He explained that the FDA issued its new “Laser Notice 57” on May 8, 2019. LIPA members had the opportunity to meet directly with the FDA in March, and again in August, following the publication of the Laser Notice.
Stojmenovik explained some key positive points in the new FDA Guidance Document: it clarifies responsibility of the projector installer, and removes the need for a hotel owner to obtain their own variance in some cases. The FDA has also told LIPA that it is exploring adopting ISO standards to reduce the current 3m separation height to 2.5m. However, there are still some technical points requiring further clarification, including characterization of small sources and pulsed emissions. LIPA’s Regulatory Committee will continue this productive dialog with the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) during 2020.
A number of presentations and talks followed, including:
Frank Tees of Moving Image Technologies (MiT) on the topic of an Integrator’s View on Laser Projection Installation.
Nico Roose, (Barco), member of the LIPA Regulatory Committee and the IEC TC76 presented on International Standards work by the IEC Technical Committee (TC 76).
Pam Lothman (Christie Digital), and LIPA regulatory expert presented on Understanding the FDA Variance Process, which provided a clear explanation of the different FDA requirements for obtaining a “Laser Light Show Variance” for both permanent and temporary installations.
Jay Parkinson (Phoenix Laser Safety) explained the new IEC TC76 work on the Virtual Protective Housing Project.
Alberto Alfier, Head of Innovation for Entertainment Lighting Solutions at OSRAM presented a talk on Lasers in EntertainmentLighting.
Greg Niven (SLD Laser), one of the founding members of LIPA, provided a fascinating presentation on The Surprising Progress of Laser Lighting.
Matsuda Shinya (Nichia) presented on Laser Diode Update & Roadmap. Nichia is one of the industry leaders in commercializing semiconductor laser components.
“LIPA, representing a large number of LIP-industry players, is very happy with the progress we’ve made this year for our members and will continue to focus and communicate on all activities that boost the industry and make it safe and standardized,” said Stojmenovik.
LIPA was founded in May 2011 to speed the adoption of laser illuminated projectors into theatres and other public spaces worldwide by providing the information needed to enact regulatory change and educate stakeholders. Laser Illuminated Projectors are enabling higher quality, brighter images, more efficient power usage and lower operating costs for projector installations from movie theatres to classrooms. Learn more at www.LIPAInfo.org.
Pete Ludé (for LIPA)
CTO, Mission Rock Digital, LLC
Consulting in Media Technology