The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their large presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, going on sale within the US. There was even a pico projector film pageant in January, where movies had been screened on ice sculptures and bare backs. Pico projectors are either hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small digital devices equivalent to cell phones. They try to address one of many greatest problems in electronics, which is that smaller is healthier…aside from screens. The strain between what our handheld gadgets 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 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. Reviews to date say that the picture, 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 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. But earlier than all of us throw away our massive screens, pico projectors have some issues to overcome.
One massive challenge is sound. If one of the benefits 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 isn’t any easier. Battery life is one other potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life in the product specifications page, they usually seem to have embargoed that information because it doesn’t seem in any of the reviews so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a movie (not to mention Avatar) earlier than 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. For instance, in the event you have been at a party and needed to share a funny video you took along with your phone, right now it might be easier to show it with a pico projector. Nevertheless, with internet-enabled televisions and media center PCs, soon (if not already) you can be able to easily ship video to any nearby 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.
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 pageant, thinks there could be important use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Picture a nighttime war professionaltest where hundreds of individuals have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
However, the most thrilling use of pico projectors might not be doing the things, like projecting films, that we associate 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 applications using this expertise, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense earlier than, but here’s a recent video with even more superb features, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved utilizing only a pico projector and a sheet of paper.