The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their big presence at CES, and the first projector phone, the LG Expo, occurring sale within the US. There was even a pico projector film pageant in January, the place films were screened on ice sculptures and bare backs. Pico projectors are either hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small digital devices comparable to cell phones. They attempt to address one of many greatest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is better…except for screens. The tension between what our handheld units are capable of doing versus what they are capable of showing by their interfaces grows stronger each 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. Evaluations to date say that the picture, which maxes out at 66 inches, appears good. This is only the start of course. While the LG valuable projector is a clip-on accent, future variations will match into the phone’s form factor.
Using your phone to project a film onto the wall definitely has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like within the new LG commercial where an office worker is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. But before we all throw away our huge screens, pico projectors have some issues to overcome.
One huge challenge is sound. If one of the advantages of a pico projector is that you should use a small kind factor to share video with a big group of people, getting massive sound out isn’t any easier. Battery life is another potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life within the product specifications page, they usually appear to have embargoed that information as it doesn’t appear in any of the critiques so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a film (not to mention Avatar) earlier than 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. For example, should you have been at a party and wished to share a funny video you took along with your phone, right now it could be simpler to show it with a pico projector. Nevertheless, with internet-enabled televisions and media middle PCs, soon (if not already) you can be able to simply send video to any close by screen.
And the places without personal screens where you might wish to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are often not sensible places to project images, particularly in case 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 many organizers of the pico projector film competition, thinks there could be important use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Image a nighttime war protest the place hundreds of people have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
Nevertheless, probably the most exciting use of pico projectors might not be doing the things, like projecting films, that we associate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors could be used for augmented reality functions- projecting the digital world onto the bodily one.
To see probably the most amazing potential applications utilizing this technology, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, however here is a current video with even more wonderful features, together with some iPad-like capabilities achieved utilizing only a pico projector and a sheet of paper.