The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their enormous presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, happening sale in the US. There was even a pico projector film festival in January, where motion pictures 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 try and address one of many biggest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is healthier…apart from screens. The strain between what our handheld gadgets are capable of doing versus what they’re capable of showing through their interfaces grows stronger each year. Whether or not pico projectors are the answer 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 ft away. Reviews thus far say that the image, which maxes out at sixty six inches, appears good. This is barely the start of course. While the LG projector is a clip-on accessory, future variations will fit into the phone’s form factor.
Using your phone to project a film onto the wall certainly has a “gee whiz” factor to it, like within the new LG industrial the place an office employee is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. But before all of us throw away our big screens, pico projectors have some problems to overcome.
One large problem is sound. If one of many advantages of a pico projector is that you can use a small type factor to share video with a large group of people, 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 specs page, and they appear to have embargoed that info because it doesn’t appear in any of the opinions so far. Backside line: it’s unclear how far you’d get into a film (let alone Avatar) before your phone died.
Pico projectors are additionally in a bit of a foot race as all of our present screens get tied in to the grid. For instance, for those who were at a party and wished to share a funny video you took with your phone, proper now it might be simpler to show it with a pico projector. Nevertheless, with internet-enabled televisions and media heart PCs, soon (if not already) you can be able to easily ship video to any nearby screen.
And the places with out personal screens the place you may wish to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are sometimes not sensible places to project images, particularly if you have any qualms about drive feeding your media preferences onto others.
Certainly, the very ease with which pico projectors can be used to create social awkwardness might be a major feature. Alexander Besher, one of the organizers of the pico projector film festival, thinks there may very well be vital use of pico projectors in political protests. Image a nighttime war protest where hundreds of people have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on each available surface.
Nevertheless, probably the most exciting use of pico projectors might not be doing the things, like projecting movies, that we affiliate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors may very well be used for augmented reality features- projecting the digital world onto the bodily one.
To see the most superb potential applications using this expertise, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, but here is a current video with even more amazing options, together with some iPad-like capabilities achieved using only a pico top 10 mini projector and a sheet of paper.