The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their enormous presence at CES, and the first projector phone, the LG Expo, occurring sale within the US. There was even a pico projector film competition in January, where movies had been screened on ice sculptures and bare backs. Pico projectors are both hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small digital units similar to cell phones. They try to address one of many largest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is best…except for screens. The stress between what our handheld devices are capable of doing versus what they are capable of showing by means of their interfaces grows stronger each year. Whether or not pico projectors are the reply to that downside remains 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 feet away. Opinions thus far say that the image, which maxes out at sixty six inches, appears good. This is barely the beginning of course. While the LG projector is a clip-on accent, future versions will match into the phone’s type factor.
Utilizing your phone to project a film onto the wall actually has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like in the new LG industrial where an office worker 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 problems to overcome.
One large difficulty is sound. If one of many benefits of a pico projector is that you should use a small type factor to share video with a large group of people, getting huge sound out is not any easier. Battery life is one other potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life in the product specs page, and they appear to have embargoed that information because it doesn’t seem in any of the opinions so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get into a movie (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. As an example, for those who were at a party and needed to share a humorous video you took together with your phone, right now it is likely to be simpler to show it with a pico projector. However, with net-enabled televisions and media heart PCs, quickly (if not already) you may be able to easily ship video to any nearby screen.
And the places with out personal screens the place you would possibly want to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are often not practical places to project images, particularly you probably have any qualms about force feeding your media preferences onto others.
Certainly, the very ease with which pico projectors can be used to create social awkwardness might be a big feature. Alexander Besher, one of the organizers of the pico projector film festival, thinks there may very well be vital use of pico projectors in political protests. Image a nighttime war professionaltest the place hundreds of people have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
However, probably the most exciting use of pico projectors won’t be doing the things, like projecting movies, that we affiliate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors could possibly be used for augmented reality functions- projecting the digital world onto the physical one.
To see essentially the most superb potential functions using this expertise, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, but here is a current video with even more amazing options, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved utilizing solely a pico projector and a sheet of paper.