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Considering Cheaper Pico-Projectors As Standard Equipment On Cell Phones

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the beam-it-at-the-wall dept.

Cellphones 146

An anonymous reader writes "Will pico-projectors become standard equipment on mobile phones, the same way that digital cameras have become? The jury is still out on user acceptance — after all, only four mobile phones use pico-projectors today — but if they get small and cheap enough, mobile phone makers are going to install them. There are four vendors today — Microvision, National Semiconductor, 3M and Texas Instruments — but only TI has design wins in cell phones already on the market. And at the recent Mobile World Congress, TI showed a smaller digital light processor (DLP) chip that fits inside even the slimmest mobile phones, and which it claims is cheap enough to become standard equipment. A lot of us never use the camera in our phones now — would you use a pico-projector if it was built into your phone?"

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"Obi-Wan Kenobi, You're our only hope!" (1, Funny)

rebmemeR (1056120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204412)

It needs to be a holographic projector, or don't bother.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204446)

rebmemeR, why do you ALWAYS insist on getting FP? It's getting old. [slashdot.org]

mod parent down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204564)

this is lame

Mod Parent Down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204570)

n/t

Re:"Obi-Wan Kenobi, You're our only hope!" (4, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204638)

It needs to be a holographic projector, or don't bother.

I have one of those, but it's locked to Vaderfone

Re:"Obi-Wan Kenobi, You're our only hope!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31205826)

It needs to be a holographic projector, or don't bother.

I have one of those, but it's locked to Vaderfone

AT&T still have the IP rights to the Death Star though.

Micro, Nano, Pico, Femto (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204438)

Somehow I don't think that a "pico-projector" is one trillionth the size of a regular projector. Asshole marketers.

Re:Micro, Nano, Pico, Femto (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204632)

In this case, "pico" refers to brain size.
Either of the marketeer who coined the term, or the intended customer. Or both.

Speaking of stupidity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204876)

Why the fuck did the submission author use that goddamn bit.ly URL shortening disservice to shit up all of the URLs in the summary? And why didn't the Slashdot editor replace them with the real URLs? I would've expected this from kdawson, but not from timothy.

There's absolutely no reason to have used shortened URLs here. There isn't a stupid 140-character limit like at twitter. I much prefer being able to see where a link is pointing to.

Re:Speaking of stupidity... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205018)

Well, it certainly gave me a few moments of suspense there. "Mmm... goatse or not? and am I feeling brave enough to find out?"

Re:Speaking of stupidity... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205206)

I'm with you. A little excitement goes a long way.

Re:Speaking of stupidity... (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205784)

I would've expected this from kdawson, but not from timothy.

Really, you wouldn't expect it of timothy? I would expect it of any of them.

Re:Micro, Nano, Pico, Femto (2, Interesting)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205396)

Chris Parks, a designer at Eastman Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions, invented the term "marketing physics" to describe ridiculous claims and other violations of physical laws and common sense made by marketing types. The pico-projector name falls in this category.

Re:Micro, Nano, Pico, Femto (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#31206078)

Somehow I don't think that a "pico-projector" is one trillionth the size of a regular projector. Asshole marketers.

Their frame of reference was some dude from the marketing department making shadow puppets using the sun.
When you look at it that way, it all makes sense.
 
/If you want to be pedantic about it, the scale is closer to 10^-11 than 10^-12

I'll just take the projector (4, Insightful)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204450)

How about a wireless projecter, the size of a deck of cards, with built-in wireless USB and/or bluetooth? Then you can use it with nearly anything, the way wi-fi projectors work now.

Besides, if you're playing a video with your phone, what if you want to then take a phone call?

Re:I'll just take the projector (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204788)

How about a wireless projecter, the size of a deck of cards, with built-in wireless USB and/or bluetooth? Then you can use it with nearly anything, the way wi-fi projectors work now.

Besides, if you're playing a video with your phone, what if you want to then take a phone call?

Then I guess you're fucked. GAME OVER MAN! You hear that screaming in the distance? That's people who tried to project and then somebody called. Let that be a lesson. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU!

Re:I'll just take the projector (2, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204840)

How about a wireless projecter, the size of a deck of cards, with built-in wireless USB and/or bluetooth? Then you can use it with nearly anything, the way wi-fi projectors work now.

That's what I want. Pretty much any projector that can fit in a phone without bulking it up is probably too faint or too draining to use for any serious purpose. I want something that can last a few hours, but still be bright enough to use with the lights on, or only slightly dimmed.

Re:I'll just take the projector (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204896)

You're right; it only makes sense to combine camera and phone because they both require a screen and some sort of interactive interface. A basic projector just needs a jack (or wireless) and a power button. That said, I have no doubt that phone manufacturers will integrate projectors into phones anyway.

Re:I'll just take the projector (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204940)

One could argue that it makes sense to combine the phone & projector because a projector needs a battery and content, which is provided by the phone. And if you want to take a call, you use your bluetooth headset, which are pretty ubiquitous now. If they are small & cheap, why not?

Re:I'll just take the projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205020)

How useful is a 640×480 projector? I'd wait for more pixels.

Re:I'll just take the projector (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204952)

Besides, if you're playing a video with your phone, what if you want to then take a phone call?

Accept that you either don't use the technology or don't take calls while watching the video?

Personally I don't have a problem not having access to a phone for a while. People can leave a message. It wasn't 15 years ago that people, I shit you not, left their homes for HOURS AT A TIME without access to a phone. Having this as merely an option isn't going to hurt anyone.

And it can come in handy. Example: your friend was at a bachelor party that had a stripper. You and the rest of the people at your current party want to know how she looked. Would you rather huddle around his phone to see a picture, or him point it at the nearest wall and project a nice big image?

Or instead of that if you want to see a play from the latest game.

OR if you really do want to sit the thing down and play a movie.

Sure there are times when you wouldn't want to use it. It's certainly not going to replace dedicated projectors anymore than camera phones replaced dedicated cameras, but it can and will have uses.

Re:I'll just take the projector (2, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205376)

...or projecting the face of some Hollywood hottie onto that girl or guy you brought home from the bar after last call.

"Wow, my phone-flashlight really accentuates your eyes. Just try to hold still or it looks like you have two heads. What??? I mean, uh... Look, something shiny!"

Re:I'll just take the projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204958)

WTFV

Re:I'll just take the projector (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205026)

Besides, if you're playing a video with your phone, what if you want to then take a phone call?

You pause the video?

You can already get wifi pico projectors and yup, they're about the size of a pack of cards.
 

Re:I'll just take the projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31205192)

Yeah, this guy is clearly not a prime candidate for a smart phone... reading email? WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET A PHONE CALL?? AAHH WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

Re:I'll just take the projector (2, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205198)

No, kidding. I don't want to be on the phone with someone who cannot stop watching their video for two minutes anyway. Honestly, the fact that the projector and the phone are integrated would work out well. In the same way that a phone and an MP3 play work out well. When a call comes in, I don't have to pause the music. It pauses for me. Then when I hang up, the music starts back up. This is a good thing, not a problem. Slightly off topic, but also cool is that a program on my Android phone will pause movies on my XBMC box when a call comes in. So, if I have a movie playing while I work, and someone from the office calls me, I don't have to fiddle with the remote to get the video to pause before I answer.

Re:I'll just take the projector (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205402)

Yeah, nothing like a bunch of people sitting around enjoying a great.. sorry, I've got to take this call.

I'll finish this post later.

a deck of cards (0, Flamebait)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205166)

"How about a wireless projecter, the size of a deck of cards"

You do know that you can get decks of cards of different sizes,even if you are just limitting it to the common playing cards.

Why can't people use standard units of measurements like millimeters, or even inches?

Re:a deck of cards (2, Insightful)

Xiterion (809456) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205196)

Perhaps because relative size comparisons, while less precise, are faster to recognize than decoding a set of dimensions.

Bruce Forsyth's Play Your Cards Right! (3, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#31206092)

Why can't people use standard units of measurements like millimeters, or even inches?

Perhaps because regardless of minor variations- which I haven't really noticed- the vast majority of playing cards are close enough to the same size and any normal person would understand the approximate scale that the authors meant.

I mean, seriously, most people would know they didn't mean cards this size [guardian.co.uk] or require precise measurements unless they were some way along the autistic spectrum of literalness.

take a call? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31206196)

Remember answering machines? They're back, Baby, and Better Than Ever (TM)!!

Introducing a hot concept - Voice Mail!

It's like an answering machine, but SMARTER! You can skip, listen, even SAVE - all at the press of a button.

Yes, you may do something else, be somewhere else, and have someone "leave a message", even when your phone is IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND!

That's right, available now, as a service plan addon or value-added service, "Voice Mail" can be yours, and it may already be!

Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (5, Insightful)

CDS (143158) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204462)

No, I wouldn't use one in my phone - but I would ABSOLUTELY use one in my laptop.

It'd be great to be able to project onto a wall for a spur-of-the-moment code discussion, etc. It seems like every time I'm in a meeting & want to share an idea or code snippet, etc. with the group, it happens to be in an area without a projector. If we could have a picoprojector on the backside of my laptop's LCD, you could project from there whenever you need...

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204472)

agreed. A projector on a phone is like the male nipple.

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (2, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204566)

a product of intelligent design?

sort of like putting a recreation and reproduction facility right next to a waste water treatment facility?

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (1)

meustrus (1588597) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205780)

a product of intelligent design?

sort of like putting a recreation and reproduction facility right next to a waste water treatment facility?

It's not just next to, you're swimming in it. On occasion, the pumps in the water park turn off and start spewing sewage instead. Of course, there is supposed to be some warning beforehand, but that doesn't stop the swimmers (swimmer?) from getting uncomfortable with the idea of swimming there. But hey, certain other people have a roller coaster that sometimes doubles as a food synthesis plant. And don't even get me started on the "playground" built in a cave inside the landfill.

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204576)

agreed. A projector on a phone is like the male nipple.

Not very useful, but still fun to play with?

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204740)

Wait, enjoyable with ice cubes and syrup? I'm confused.

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (1)

Ipeunipig (934414) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205068)

Syrup would make it sticky. And a sticky phone projector may give off the wrong impression. Especially if one just walked out of the bathroom at work.

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31205048)

If you don't know what male nipples are for, you're doing that "sex" thing wrong.

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204608)

It'd be great to be able to project onto a wall for a spur-of-the-moment code discussion, etc. It seems like every time I'm in a meeting & want to share an idea or code snippet, etc. with the group

My my, don't you have a bushy tail.

 

Re:Phone? No. Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (2, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204690)

It'd be great to be able to project onto a wall for a spur-of-the-moment code discussion, etc. It seems like every time I'm in a meeting & want to share an idea or code snippet, etc. with the group, it happens to be in an area without a projector. If we could have a picoprojector on the backside of my laptop's LCD, you could project from there whenever you need...

Before long, you'd be invited to damn few meetings. You might be on to something there...

Re:Phone? ABSOLUTELY Laptop? ABSOLUTELY. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204964)

think if it was the price and size that the camera's are right now. Think of all the times you wanted show someone a picture or video you have on you phone.

I would love to have a projector on both.

Re:Phone? No. PDA? ABSOLUTELY. (2, Interesting)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205082)

No, I wouldn't use one in my phone - but I would ABSOLUTELY use one in my PDA.

1.) I'm going to the lab and a co-worker stops me to ask about a hardware issue. There is no Way I can read a schematic on a PDA. But, if I could project it onto a surface, I wouldn't have to go upstairs to my main PC to open the schematic
2.) I'm sitting on an airplane wanting to watch a movie. Pulling out a laptop is pretty freaking annoying, but this could project it onto the seat in front of me.
3.) Games. Finally I can play a video game on my phone.
4.) You have a plumbing issue. You take a picture of the part, take it to the store, project it so the person behind the counter can see it, and they give you the right item.
5.) You are meeting some new friends. "Oh! I have a dog! Here is their picture"... and you look at it on a tiny screen and go "What kind of dog Is that?" Or, take out a projector and actually show a decent picture of your dog/family/car/house/injury/vacation/logo/design

There are MANY reasons that I would want this on my PDA. Oh, and it would be great if my PDA acted like a cell phone.

Re:Phone? No. PDA? ABSOLUTELY. (3, Insightful)

meustrus (1588597) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205804)

So, if we were to translate what you're saying out of the 90's, you want a pico projector in your iPhone/Droid/Nexus One/Palm Pre?

iP*d (0, Redundant)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204486)

I don't want a projector in my phone. I want my phone to be a phone. Make it a videophone before adding some non-personal-communications projector app.

I want the projector in my iP*d, or other super-small computing device which IS designed for visual display of information.

Re:iP*d (1)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204540)

For phones with cameras (i.e. all of them) it would be nice to be able to do a slide show of the pics without having to transferring them to a computer.

Re:iP*d (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204672)

anyone who grew up before the 80's can tell you how fascinating slide-shows are.

Your phone IS an ipod, IS a TV, IS a web browser (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204936)

It IS a videophone, is a word processor, is a spreadsheet, is also a map and a satnav, and is a super small computing device designed for visual display of information.

Fuck, I can even run multi user ssh sessions, DB servers and web sites on it. Y'know I reckon I could run mult user X desktops on the thing as well.

http://maemo.nokia.com/n900/ [nokia.com]

Where have you been for the last 5 years?

Projector too? Hell yeah!
 

Re:Your phone IS an ipod, IS a TV, IS a web browse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31205178)

My phone is an iPhone, you insensitive clod!

Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31206094)

Where have you been for the last 5 years?

I've been in the United States, where the wireless carriers with decent coverage don't give a discount for bringing your own handset.

Depends on the output (5, Insightful)

FrozenGeek (1219968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204490)

I don't really care what device I use as a projector. What matters to me is whether the projection is bright enough for my audience to see the projected images clearly. If I can do that from my phone, great (one less piece of equipment to lug around).

The other question I would ask is whether using my phone as a projector would drain the battery, precluding me using the phone as a phone. A phone with a flat battery is not much use.

Re:Depends on the output (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204544)

The other question I would ask is whether using my phone as a projector would drain the battery

if you rtfa you'd know that these projectors run on fairy dust and leprechaun farts, not electricity, so of course using it will have no effect on battery life.

Re:Depends on the output (2, Insightful)

be951 (772934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204992)

Agreed. I think eventually, we will see phones/pocket-sized devices with a "pico" projector and one of these [thinkgeek.com] built in. And as storage gets smaller and chips get more powerful, we will end up with an all-in-one device that can replace laptops/netbooks as well. We already have convergence of phone, digital camera, video camera, PDA, MP3 player, GPS, etc... One of the things that makes the iPad attractive (YMMV) is the larger screen. A pico projector can provide that in a smaller device.

Re:Depends on the output (1)

m2shariy (1194621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205014)

What matters to me is whether the projection is bright enough for my audience to see the projected images clearly.

Bright enough, providing the projection size is no larger than the cell phone screen.

Re:Depends on the output (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206546)

What matters to me is whether the projection is bright enough for my audience to see the projected images clearly.

The Microvision one is 10 ANSI lumens. No zeros lost there either.

I wish they'd just get to projecting the cell phone display onto my retina so I could have a smaller phone with a higher res display.

What does not using a camera have to do with this? (0)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204514)

"A lot of us never use the camera in our phones now -- would you use a pico-projector if it was built into your phone?"

How does the fact that you don't use the camera in your phone have anything to do with the fact that you would not use a pico-projector? They are two completely different technologies with completely different purposes filling completely different needs.

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204666)

They are two completely different technologies with completely different purposes filling completely different needs.

You mean sort of like telephones and cameras?

Actually, I think the logic for a projector in your cellphone is what another poster mentioned earlier, an easy way to display the photos you have taken on your phone to people.

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204836)

"Actually, I think the logic for a projector is... an easy way to display the photos you have taken on your phone to people"

Why the frick would I want to subject my friends, family and coworkers to a slide-show of my vacation pics?! If that's what you do it explains your nagging doubts as to why you don't have any friends.

Why anyone would want a projector built into his or her phone (other than a nimrod who subjects friends, family and coworkers to slide-shows of his vacation pics) would be to watch movies and shows on a big screen nearly anywhere indoors. That'd be awesome!

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205008)

You wouldn't. But think about your crazy aunt that takes all the horrible pictures of her nieces and nephews... she's the target demographic.

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205582)

"You wouldn't. But think about your crazy aunt that takes all the horrible pictures of her nieces and nephews... she's the target demographic."

Shhuudder!

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205580)

I didn't say I wanted that. I rarely even use the camera. I said that I thought that was the logic.

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204980)

They are two completely different technologies with completely different purposes filling completely different needs.

Depends on how you look at it. You could argue that they're the same thing, just running in opposite directions.

Re:What does not using a camera have to do with th (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205172)

Agreed. A camera is an input device. A projector would be an output device. It's like comparing a keyboard with speakers....

would you use a pico-projector if it was built in? (1)

KaimaraZatar (1267396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204522)

It's sure to get a little use.

iPico (1, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204528)

A projector wouldn't make Pico any more pleasant to use on a cellphone. Plus, you'd get all the DRM activists complaining that they hate Pico and that Apple won't let them projected emacs and vi on their iPhones.

How big and bright can these things project? (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204602)

Don't projectors of reasonable "cell phone" size generally max out at 11"x17" on a light-colored wall in a dim room? And despite seldom having any use for my phone's camera, I have in the past thought "Gee, it would be really nice if I had a camera right now" (still do sometimes, as I have yet to have a cell phone with a camera that's usable in low light) I've never found myself thinking "Gee, it would be really awesome if I could project an image the size of a smallish poster from my phone!".

Re:How big and bright can these things project? (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205416)

Have you ever wanted to show someone something on your phone?

Has the size of the tiny screen size ever contributed to a sub-optimal viewing experience?

This thing would kill for small presentations on-the-go. Of course it's not suitable for a big roomful of people, but it would be fine for a small group sitting close to the display.

Re:How big and bright can these things project? (1)

kitezh (1442937) | more than 3 years ago | (#31206142)

Just think of what it could do for the 30 second elevator pitch, if you could project your short corporate/marketing slideshow on the elevator doors. Marketing people would love this, as it would drive their sales pitch home for both visual and non-visual learners.

Opens a world of uses (2, Interesting)

Ustice (788261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204622)

I would absolutely use a small projector on my phone. It would be great for sharing info, and would help with augmented reality apps. It also allows you to get outside of the limitations of a tiny screen. You could even use it as a replacement for a screen, and make the phone the shape of a pen that folds out with a screen that the interface gets projected onto. This is the next step, I think.

It needs a corresponding killer app (4, Interesting)

jwietelmann (1220240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204684)

would you use a pico-projector if it was built into your phone?

No. Next question please...

More seriously though, I'm sure that this would be very useful for a handful of people. It might even be good for the phone makers as a short-term marketing gimmick. I bet a lot of people might initally buy such a phone for the "wow" factor before realizing the limitations.

The problem is this: Where/when could you use such a device in an effective way? You'd need a screen and/or a blank wall, as well as something close enough to that wall to set your phone on, unless you and your comrades enjoy watching a very wobbly video.

On the other hand, combined with an accelerometer, a compass, and/or a camera, someone might be able to make a fairly novel application. For example, a game where moving the phone would scroll the projected image, like moving the sights of a gun. (Clearly the game would have to be a little more creative than that, but you get the general idea.)

Re:It needs a corresponding killer app (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205470)

Where/when could you use such a device in an effective way? You'd need a screen and/or a blank wall, as well as something close enough to that wall to set your phone on

So... you'd need a table and a wall. This is hard to find?

Re:It needs a corresponding killer app (2, Interesting)

Orbijx (1208864) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205690)

Where/when could you use such a device in an effective way?

Hello from a tourist trap city in Florida!
I've been asked for directions many a time by someone who's new to the area, or just traveling through.

I'd have loved to be able to show them a map of how to get to there from here, and know that they can see it. Squinting at a small screen to visualize directions isn't likely to be as effective as projecting a map on the back of a tray at a local Subway.

I can say something like:
"Take Busch to 56th, turn right. Take 56th to Hillsborough, turn left. Take Hillsborough to Orient Road, turn right. Hard Rock's on your left." and get looked at strangely.
Same happens with "Take Busch to I-275, and grab the southbound ramp. Merge into I-4 by taking the right-side ramp. Get off on the Orient Road Exit, and turn left. Hard Rock is on your right."

People are visual creatures when traveling, using things to set waypoints, making it easier for them to find their way home.
Some of them just forget to print directions before they go places.
So projecting something in a minute's time would be useful.

(At the same time, I worry about projecting, because someone will invariably use a mapping application with a GPS, project the map on the windshield while driving, and manage to run someone over.)

Will pico-projectors become standard equipment? (1, Insightful)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204704)

It all depends on what Steve Jobs likes.

The reason nobody uses cell-phone cameras.. (1)

faedle (114018) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204762)

.. is, by in large, they're shite.

I suspect the pico-projector will suffer the same fate. Not good enough to be anything more than an executive toy.

It doesn't make sense to me. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204764)

I'd rather have some kind of standard video port (probably via a dongle for size reasons), so that I can connect my phone to a computer screen or TV or projector (pico or not) as I feel the need. And a pico projector on the side, which I may use with my phone or with my netbook, but I don't think I'll use that a lot.

There could be some specialty phones with an integrated pico projector, but that doesn't sound like a basic feature to me.

Probably not (2, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204770)

It's kind of difficult to pretend to be working during meetings while actually watching internet porn on my phone if I'm watching it by projecting it life-size on a wall.

"Unboxing" promo for the LG Expo (1)

kervin (64171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204784)

No connection to the product, but this fake geek unboxing [youtube.com] for the LG Expo ( projector phone ) was kind of amusing.

it could turn your smart phone into a 'laptop' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204906)

what about a projected screen and a projected keyboard on your smartphone?
then if you have full flat surfaces you could do some real work on it.

Just ask the teens... (4, Insightful)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204914)

And people thought sexting was bad with just those cell phone LCDs.

Re:Just ask the teens... (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205348)

It's time for the mobile fufme [welookdoyou.com] .

No way, a phone is for talking... (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204916)

I use a cell phone for 3 purposes.

1. Talking

2. Texting when I can't talk (like brief and infrequent messages to my wife while at work)

3. Sudoku while I'm on the toilet

I have no need nor desire to have a camera, web browser, or projector on my phone. No thank you.

Re:No way, a phone is for talking... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205046)

Just imagine, though: you could use it to project that Sudoku game of yours on the door in front of you!

Re:No way, a phone is for talking... (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205086)

...Texting...toilet...projector...

Now Larry Craig doesn't have to use his foot ask for favors from the next stall over.

Before that, forward facing camera (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31204970)

Before we worry about projectors, how about we get forward facing cameras on our phone for video Skype. It is already a pretty common feature on Japanese phones.

Re:Before that, forward facing camera (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205252)

Hmm, I have a cheap Nokia 3120 classic [wikipedia.org] and it has a forward facing VGA camera for video conversations (in addition to the higher resolution camera on the back). I thought such features were standard nowadays as this phone belongs in the cheapo category.

The phone is not the killer platform here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31204988)

The car dashboard and the portable GPS are. Pico projectors enable automotive HUDs.

Would I use it? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205044)

Yes. Until my battery runs dead.

Pointless (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205062)

From what I've seen they're low-res, dim and no better than a nice big touch screen for showing content.

Tricorders. (4, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205224)

I know Star Trek has fallen from popular attention, but these cell phone things are becoming more and more like the kind of gear we collectively envision "Future People" walking around with.

It's interesting, though, that our imaginary selves are interested in exploration, and their portable technology was tuned to that, (probing and measuring the environment), whereas our devices seem to be more about insulating people from reality. (Headphones and music and videos and games, etc.)

In Star Trek they were too busy having adventures to spend much time in Fantasy Lad.

The question of one's state of bondage can be determined by a quick assessment of one's collection of iPhone apps.

-FL

I guess you ignored TNG et al (1)

Krioni (180167) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205474)

If you meant all of the Star Trek franchise, you're forgetting all those Holodeck episodes. Now, making a story for TV was often a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense that crew would spend a lot of time in the Holodeck between locations.

Re:Tricorders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31205510)

Regrettably, we can't all live in imaginary worlds.

But if we could, I'd prefer adventuring that's a little more "fantasy" than "sci-fi". You usually get to spend more time out of doors, and it's more pleasant. Though I suppose there's some standard-of-living issues if you're just with the random peasantry.

Re:Tricorders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31205842)

Captain Picard calls bullshit on this from the holodeck.

Re:Tricorders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206334)

In Star Trek they were too busy having adventures to spend much time in Fantasy La(n)d.

I take it you never watched many of the newer ones where many of them centered around the holo-decks.

Re:Tricorders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206552)

In Star Trek they were too busy having adventures to spend much time in Fantasy Lad.

I bet Fantasy Lad is thankful for that!

Everyone I know has a camera of some sort, but... (1)

ukemike (956477) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205254)

Everyone I know has a camera of some sort, and most use the camera in their phones from time to time when they don't have a real camera with them. With the exception of people who do presentations or commercial training I know ONE person who owns a projector.

So I don't think there is a big demand for super dim, hard to hold steady, low res, battery killing projectors that you can carry in your pocket. The cell phone is turning into the digital swiss army knife. The mini projector might belong on a super specialized model (kinda like the golfer's swiss army knife that has the divot tool and the cleat cleaner).

the very small projectors I have seen are almost uselessly dim. "Hey could you cover up your glow-in-the-dark watch face it's ruining everyone's night vision and we can't see the projector image!"

Smartphone with projector already exists (1)

PGillingwater (72739) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205386)

This phone already exists. At least, the following web page suggests very strongly that it exists, but YMMV...

http://www.pomegranatephone.com/ [pomegranatephone.com]

SixthSense (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#31205508)

Could be in the middle of the path to get to SixthSense [ted.com] technology to phones. But if it even works to get a bigger screen for the phone (i.e. to see a movie in a wall instead of in a tiny phone screen) could have some sense.

Yes, but design them better (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#31206068)

I think the notion of a built in project is great. However I really cannot understand why they're designing them so bloody thick just to accommodate the projector chip. The ones that the TI guy was showing off were fairly wide but actually quite thin. I think it would make far more sense to simply have the projector chip lay flat just like the camera chip but have the ability to "pop-up" and be adjustable to different angles. That way not only do you enable the phone to remain nice and thin, but you also have the ability to lay the phone on an ordinary surface without propping it up at an angle for people to see the picture.
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