The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their enormous presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, occurring sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film pageant in January, where motion pictures were screened on ice sculptures and bare backs. Pico projectors are both hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small electronic devices corresponding to cell phones. They try and address one of many greatest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is best projector…aside from screens. The strain between what our handheld gadgets are capable of doing versus what they’re capable of showing by way 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 up to 9 toes away. Evaluations to this point say that the picture, which maxes out at 66 inches, seems to be good. This is simply the start of course. While the LG projector is a clip-on accessory, future versions will match into the phone’s form factor.
Utilizing your phone to project a film onto the wall certainly has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like within the new LG commercial where an office employee is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. However earlier than we all throw away our huge screens, pico projectors have some problems to overcome.
One massive challenge is sound. If one of the advantages of a pico projector is that you should use a small form factor to share video with a large group of individuals, getting massive sound out is not any easier. Battery life is one other potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life in the product specifications page, and they appear to have embargoed that data as it doesn’t seem in any of the opinions so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a film (let alone Avatar) earlier than your phone died.
Pico projectors are also in a bit of a foot race as all of our current screens get tied in to the grid. For example, for those who had been at a party and wanted to share a funny video you took with your phone, right now it may be easier to show it with a pico projector. Nonetheless, with web-enabled televisions and media center PCs, quickly (if not already) you’ll be able to easily ship video to any nearby screen.
And the places without personal screens where you might want to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are sometimes not practical places to project images, significantly if in case you 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 could possibly be a significant feature. Alexander Besher, one of many organizers of the pico projector film competition, thinks there could possibly be significant use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Image a nighttime war protest where hundreds of people have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
Nonetheless, the most thrilling use of pico projectors won’t be doing the things, like projecting motion pictures, that we associate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors may very well be used for augmented reality capabilities- projecting the digital world onto the physical one.
To see essentially the most superb potential functions using this technology, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, but here’s a latest video with even more amazing options, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved using only a pico projector and a sheet of paper.