The age of pico projectors has officially arrived with their large presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, going on sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film festival in January, the place films have been 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 to address one of many biggest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is better…except for screens. The stress between what our handheld gadgets are capable of doing versus what they’re capable of showing by their interfaces grows stronger every year. Whether or not pico projectors are the reply 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 ft away. Reviews thus far say that the picture, which maxes out at sixty six inches, seems to be 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 movie onto the wall certainly has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like in the new LG business the place an office employee is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. But earlier than all of us throw away our huge screens, pico projectors have some issues to overcome.
One massive situation is sound. If one of the advantages of a pico projector is that you can use a small kind factor to share video with a large group of individuals, getting huge sound out is no easier. Battery life is another potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life within the product specifications web page, and so they seem to have embargoed that info because it doesn’t seem in any of the opinions so far. Bottom line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a movie (let alone Avatar) before your phone died.
Pico projectors are additionally in a little bit of a foot race as all of our current screens get tied in to the grid. As an example, if you were at a party and needed to share a funny video you took with your phone, proper now it might be easier to show it with a pico projector. Nonetheless, with web-enabled televisions and media middle PCs, quickly (if not already) you will be able to simply ship video to any close by screen.
And the places with out personal screens the place you may want to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are often not sensible places to project images, significantly you probably have any qualms about drive 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 major feature. Alexander Besher, one of the organizers of the pico mini projector film pageant, thinks there could be important use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Image a nighttime war protest the place hundreds of individuals have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on every available surface.
However, essentially the most thrilling use of pico projectors might not be doing the things, like projecting films, that we affiliate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors might be used for augmented reality capabilities- projecting the digital world onto the physical one.
To see the most wonderful potential purposes utilizing this technology, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, however here is a recent video with even more amazing options, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved utilizing only a pico projector and a sheet of paper.