The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their big presence at CES, and the first projector phone, the LG Expo, happening sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film festival in January, where motion pictures were screened on ice sculptures and naked backs. Pico projectors are both hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small digital units corresponding to cell phones. They try to address one of many biggest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is better…except for screens. The stress between what our handheld devices are capable of doing versus what they are capable of showing by way of their interfaces grows stronger every year. Whether pico projectors are the answer to that downside stays to be seen.
LG is first out of the gate with a pico projector that attaches to their new LG Expo. The attachment retails for $179 and projects a 480 x 320 image up to 9 toes away. Reviews up to now say that the image, which maxes out at 66 inches, seems to be good. This is barely the beginning of course. While the LG projector is a clip-on accent, future variations will fit into the phone’s form factor.
Utilizing your phone to project a movie onto the wall actually has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like within the new LG commercial the place an office employee is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. But before all of us throw away our huge screens, pico projectors have some problems to overcome.
One massive difficulty is sound. If one of many benefits of a pico projector is that you need to use a small type factor to share video with a big group of individuals, getting huge sound out isn’t any easier. Battery life is another potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life within the product specs web page, they usually seem to have embargoed that info as it doesn’t seem in any of the reviews so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a movie (not to mention Avatar) before your phone died.
Pico projectors are also in a little bit of a foot race as all of our current screens get tied in to the grid. As an example, in case you were at a party and wished to share a funny video you took together with your phone, right now it might be simpler to show it with a pico projector. Nevertheless, with web-enabled televisions and media middle PCs, soon (if not already) you’ll be able to simply ship video to any close by screen.
And the places without personal screens where you might need to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are often not sensible places to project images, significantly when you have any qualms about power feeding your media preferences onto others.
Indeed, the very ease with which pico projectors can be used to create social awkwardness may very well be a big feature. Alexander Besher, one of the organizers of the pico mini projector film pageant, thinks there could possibly be vital use of pico projectors in political protests. Image a nighttime war protest where hundreds of individuals have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
Nevertheless, the most thrilling use of pico projectors won’t be doing the things, like projecting motion pictures, that we affiliate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors could possibly be used for augmented reality functions- projecting the digital world onto the bodily one.
To see the most superb potential purposes using this know-how, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, however here is a latest video with even more superb options, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved using solely a pico projector and a sheet of paper.