The age of pico projectors has formally arrived with their huge presence at CES, and the primary projector phone, the LG Expo, going on sale within 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 either hand-held projectors, or projectors embedded in small electronic gadgets akin to cell phones. They try and address one of the largest issues in electronics, which is that smaller is best…aside from screens. The stress between what our handheld gadgets are capable of doing versus what they’re capable of showing by means of their interfaces grows stronger each year. Whether pico projectors are the reply 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 picture, which maxes out at 66 inches, seems good. This is just the beginning of course. While the LG DLP Projector is a clip-on accessory, future versions 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 in the new LG business where an office employee is seen projecting Avatar on the wall of the break room. However before all of us throw away our large screens, pico projectors have some issues to overcome.
One big problem is sound. If one of the benefits of a pico projector is that you should utilize a small form factor to share video with a big group of individuals, getting massive sound out isn’t any easier. Battery life is another potential issue. LG doesn’t give a rated battery life within the product specs web page, and so they appear to have embargoed that info because it doesn’t seem in any of the opinions so far. Backside 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 bit of a foot race as all of our present screens get tied in to the grid. For example, in the event you had been at a party and wished to share a funny video you took with your phone, right now it could be simpler to show it with a pico projector. However, with internet-enabled televisions and media heart PCs, soon (if not already) you will be able to simply send video to any close by screen.
And the places without personal screens the place you may wish to watch something, like airplanes and subways, are sometimes not sensible places to project images, notably if you 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 could possibly be a major feature. Alexander Besher, one of the organizers of the pico projector film pageant, thinks there could be vital use of pico projectors in political professionaltests. Picture a nighttime war protest the place hundreds of individuals have pico projectors showing graphic images of devastation on every available surface.
Nevertheless, probably the most thrilling use of pico projectors won’t be doing the things, like projecting motion pictures, that we associate with traditional projectors. Instead, pico projectors could possibly be used for augmented reality capabilities- projecting the digital world onto the bodily one.
To see essentially the most wonderful potential applications utilizing this expertise, MIT’s “SixthSense” project is the place to look. We’ve reported on SixthSense before, however here’s a current video with even more superb features, together with some iPad-like capabilities achieved using solely a pico projector and a sheet of paper.