Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Projector That Fits in the Palm of Your Hand

Who would have thought we'd be able to project a huge image using a device that fits into the palm of your hand? Optoma will be making its "Pico" projector, which is the size of a typical smartphone, commercially available worldwide in 2009. It will have limited distribution in Europe and Asia as early as late 2008. This model is the first to include the DLP Pico chipset from Texas Instruments.

How does it work? Connect the four-ounce device to another mobile device, like a smartphone, and you can project images, or even video, onto a surface at up to 100 times larger than the device's actual screen. With the growing list of mobile phones that capture fairly decent resolution shots, and even stream video, a mini projo like this could come in really handy.

Jon Grodem, Director of Product Management for Optoma describes the Pico projector as allowing one to "break free from the limitations of the two and three-inch displays found on today's mobile devices. This category defining projector creates a new benchmark for sharing content-on-the-go."

My first thought is while at a cottage or camping: imagine projecting a slideshow of photos or a series of fun video clips on a white sheet draped over your tent or a white wall? Sure, it isn't high-definition by any means, and I wouldn't watch a full-length feature film using one of these things. But the mere fact that you can accomplish such a task is incredible!

Speaking of resolution, Optoma's Pico projector uses LED technology, which leads me to believe that images will have the potential to look pretty darned impressive for a device that you can slot into your back pocket.

Will Pico projectors take off as viable mobile accessories; or will they simply be a "fad" of the 21st century?

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