The age of pico projectors has officially arrived with their huge presence at CES, and the first projector phone, the LG Expo, happening sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film pageant in January, the place films have been screened on ice sculptures and bare backs. Pico projectors are either hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small digital gadgets comparable to cell phones. They try to address one of many largest problems in electronics, which is that smaller is best…except for screens. The stress between what our handheld gadgets are capable of doing versus what they’re capable of showing by way of their interfaces grows stronger every year. Whether pico projectors are the answer to that problem 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 as much as 9 ft away. Evaluations up to now say that the image, which maxes out at 66 inches, looks good. This is just the beginning of course. While the LG projector is a clip-on accent, future variations will match into the phone’s kind factor.
Using your phone to project a movie onto the wall definitely has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like within the new LG industrial where an office employee is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. However earlier than we all throw away our massive screens, pico projectors have some issues to overcome.
One massive concern is sound. If one of many advantages of a pico projector is that you should utilize a small form factor to share video with a big group of individuals, getting big sound out is not any easier. Battery life is another potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life within the product specs web page, they usually appear to have embargoed that information as it doesn’t appear in any of the evaluations so far. Backside line: it’s unclear how far you’d get into a film (let alone Avatar) earlier than your phone died.
Pico projectors are additionally in a bit of a foot race as all of our present screens get tied in to the grid. As an example, when you had been at a party and wanted to share a funny video you took along with your phone, proper now it might be simpler to show it with a pico projector. However, with net-enabled televisions and media heart PCs, soon (if not already) you will be able to simply send video to any close by screen.
And the places without personal screens the place you may want to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are often not practical places to project images, significantly you probably have any qualms about force feeding your media preferences onto others.
Certainly, the very ease with which pico projectors can be utilized to create social awkwardness might be a big feature. Alexander Besher, one of many organizers of the pico projector film festival, thinks there may very well be vital use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Image a nighttime war protest the place hundreds of individuals have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
Nevertheless, the most thrilling use of pico projectors may not be doing the things, like projecting movies, that we affiliate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors may very well be used for augmented reality features- projecting the digital world onto the physical one.
To see probably the most amazing potential purposes utilizing this expertise, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, but here is a latest video with even more amazing options, together with some iPad-like capabilities achieved utilizing only a pico projector and a sheet of paper.