Leica is further diversifying its portfolio or partnerships into a new home theater projector manufactured by JMGO. The two companies originally teamed up in 2020 and the new JMGO O1 Pro is the first fruit of that partnership.
JMGO launched in 2011 and quickly secured the number one market share for projectors in China by 2014. The company is now attempting to aggressively expand into international markets and intends to target North America, Europe, and Japan. The partnership with Leica is clearly designed to add a sense of quality and recognizability both in JMGO’s launch market of China but also internationally, as Leica’s branding is strong around the globe.
Leica says that the production of projectors matches nicely with its knowledge base of cameras and lenses. The two companies say that the LED projector combines the strengths of both companies via “expertise and the synergy of the talented pool of optic and imaging quality engineers.”
The O1 Pro is what is known as an ultra-short-throw projector, which means that instead of the more well-known placement position of behind the viewing space (like a couch or where a projector is located in a movie theater), the projector can sit on a media table below the projection surface. The benefit to ultra-short-throw projectors is that they allow for placement in a way that more closely mirrors how televisions are placed in a home theater and require less room behind a couch or set of chairs, and also are less finicky with regards to the height and angle or placement.
“Optical design, luminous selection, and image processing are the key pillars that play a significant role in the overall imaging quality,” Leica writes in a press release.
Leica is taking credit for the extremely short-throw ratio, which the O1 Pro reduces from 0.25 meters (~9.8 inches) in the O1 projectors to just 0.21 meters (~8.2 inches). As noted by XiaomiToday, typically projectors have a projection ratio of 1.2:1, while the O1 Pro has a ratio of 0.25:1.
The projector company says that JMGO O1 Pro can project a 100-inch screen from just 8.2 inches away, both with 4K compatibility and 1920 x 1080p resolution.
“Image quality regarding contrast-enhancing, color gamut, stray light reduction, dynamic range, sharpness, and noise reduction have all been refined. During production, rigid Leica standards are implemented to guarantee uncompromising high quality of the series products,” Leica states.
The projector company is not the first Chinese-based company that Leica has partnered with. In 2016, the German camera company announced a partnership with Huawei. Huawei has since struggled mightily, but for reasons unrelated to Leica’s involvement.
Leica and JMGO state that the O1 Pro is just the first of several products that will be both co-branded and co-engineered moving forward. It appears that JMGO is planning on launching the O1 Series of projectors, which will include one capable of 4K resolution, on IndieGoGo in the near future.