The age of pico projectors has officially arrived with their big presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, happening sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film competition in January, where movies have been screened on ice sculptures and naked backs. Pico projectors are either hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small digital gadgets comparable to cell phones. They attempt to address one of many biggest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is best projector…except for screens. The tension between what our handheld devices are capable of doing versus what they are capable of showing by means of their interfaces grows stronger every year. Whether pico projectors are the answer to that problem 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. Reviews so far say that the image, which maxes out at sixty six inches, seems good. This is barely 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 film onto the wall certainly has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like in the new LG business the place an office worker is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. However before we all throw away our massive screens, pico projectors have some problems to overcome.
One massive problem 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 large group of individuals, getting big 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 web page, and so they seem to have embargoed that information as it doesn’t seem in any of the evaluations so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a film (let alone Avatar) before your phone died.
Pico projectors are also in a bit of a foot race as all of our present screens get tied in to the grid. As an example, in case you had been at a party and wished to share a funny video you took with your phone, proper now it could be simpler to show it with a pico projector. Nevertheless, with web-enabled televisions and media center PCs, quickly (if not already) you’ll be able to simply send 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, notably when you’ve got any qualms about drive feeding your media preferences onto others.
Indeed, the very ease with which pico projectors can be utilized to create social awkwardness could be a big feature. Alexander Besher, one of the organizers of the pico projector film competition, 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 every available surface.
Nevertheless, 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 may very well be used for augmented reality functions- projecting the digital world onto the bodily one.
To see essentially the most superb potential purposes utilizing this technology, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, however here is a latest video with even more wonderful features, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved utilizing solely a pico projector and a sheet of paper.