The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their enormous presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, going on sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film competition in January, where movies were screened on ice sculptures and bare backs. Pico projectors are both hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small electronic gadgets corresponding to cell phones. They attempt to address one of many greatest problems in electronics, which is that smaller is best…aside from screens. The tension between what our handheld units are capable of doing versus what they are capable of showing by their interfaces grows stronger every year. Whether 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 feet away. Evaluations so far say that the picture, which maxes out at 66 inches, appears to be like 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 form factor.
Using your phone to project a movie onto the wall actually has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like within the new LG business where an office worker is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. However before all of us throw away our massive screens, pico projectors have some issues to overcome.
One huge subject is sound. If one of the advantages of a pico projector is that you should use a small kind factor to share video with a big 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 within the product specifications web page, and so they appear to have embargoed that info because it doesn’t seem in any of the reviews so far. Backside line: it’s unclear how far you’d get right into a movie (not to mention Avatar) before your phone died.
Pico projectors are additionally in a little bit of a foot race as all of our existing screens get tied in to the grid. For instance, when you were at a party and needed to share a funny video you took together with your phone, right now it could be easier to show it with a pico projector. Nevertheless, with web-enabled televisions and media center PCs, soon (if not already) you may be able to simply send video to any nearby screen.
And the places without personal screens the place you would possibly need to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are sometimes not practical places to project images, significantly in case you have any qualms about power feeding your media preferences onto others.
Indeed, the very ease with which pico projectors can be used to create social awkwardness might be a major feature. Alexander Besher, one of many organizers of the pico projector film pageant, thinks there may very well be significant use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Picture a nighttime war protest where hundreds of people have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
However, essentially 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 be used for augmented reality functions- 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 is a current video with even more wonderful features, including some iPad-like capabilities achieved using only a pico valuable projector and a sheet of paper.