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Mobile Phone Projectors "Will Launch This Year"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the is-that-a-laser-in-your-pocket dept.

Cellphones 168

An anonymous reader writes "Mobile phones with built-in mini projectors will launch later this year, according to 3M, which gave PC Pro a hands-on demonstration of the technology at CES 2008. The projector has a brightness of around 8-10 lumens, and is capable of displaying an image of up to 50 in., although 3M's spokesperson Greg Roberts told us that, with perfect lighting conditions, it's possible to squeeze a 60-in. screen out of the projector."

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8- 10 lumins? (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21965970)

WTF? 50inch screen with only 10 lumin is going to be SHITTY.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (4, Interesting)

squeemey (925509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966042)

Yes, but being able to project an internet site on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper on the go will be a big asset and very useful. A real computer in a pocket.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966102)

Yes, but they didn't say it would project everything from the phone. We only know that it will project photographs. Why you would need to project photographs from a cell phone, I have no idea. Yeah, let's project shitty quality photos of idiotic people doing stupid shit onto the wall for everyone to see. *yawn*

I've owned my treo for two years and I've only taken one photo. *shrug*

Re:8- 10 lumins? (5, Interesting)

CmdrSammo (1086973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966148)

"Yeah, let's project shitty quality photos"

My Nokia N95 has a 5 MegaPixel camera which produces some pretty good quality photos and video. It is hard to appreciate this quality on the 3"ish screen so having a projector would be a nice feature. No idea when I'd use it though, I can hardly imagine whipping out the projector at work or uni to show my mates my oh so cool pics. But this is the first time I've had a phone that does more than just do calls and texts, on a recent holiday I must've taken about 500 pics on the 4GB microSD card in it. Mobile phones are becoming very nice indeed imo.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (2, Informative)

hattig (47930) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966514)

If you read the article, you'd see that the projector was only VGA resolution, or 0.3mp.

Imagine those big pixels at 50". It certainly wouldn't be able to show anything like the 5mp images your phone can take.

This technology would be better made into a separate unit that can plug into a compatible phone.

When the resolution improves to even 0.8mp or 1.2mp then we are talking about something that is actually useful.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (2, Insightful)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966458)

Why you would need to project photographs from a cell phone,

Umm, have you ever tried _looking_ at photos on a typical cell phone screen?
How about showing on to a group of people?
No matter what resolution we might get, they remain _small_.

If you can get fair quality and resolution on a monitor-sized surface,
its a whole different world. I think it would be a hit for exactly
the same reasons that camera phones have been.

Hell, even pure digital cameras would would about double their usefulness
with something like this.

Missing the point.... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966484)

This is about selling phones, not about producing quality images (that might come in five years or so).

Remember polyphonic ringtones? Were they "quality" music? Nope, but we all secretly wanted them.

The gadget power of having a phone-projector is orders of magnitude more than a polyphonic ringtone. This thing will sell millions no matter how bad the image quality is.

Re:Missing the point.... (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966534)

No, I didn't and don't want polyphonic ringtones. I want loud MIDI-like ringtones that cut through crowd noise, music I'm listening to, and other sounds. I don't want to hear a catchy chorus of a song for a ringtone, just as I don't want "clever" quotes from popular tv shows for my computer sounds.

As for the projector, I'm not sure how an 8-10 lumens projector will look. I have my doubts, but I'll take a look when they reach market.

Re:Missing the point.... (2, Informative)

orasio (188021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966970)

No, I didn't and don't want polyphonic ringtones. I want loud MIDI-like ringtones that cut through crowd noise, music I'm listening to, and other sounds.
Loud MIDI-like ringtones that cut through everything _are_ polyphonic ringtones. The only difference is that monophonic ringtones sound like Casiotone, and polyphonic ringtones just sound nicer, but with the same clarity.

I don't want to hear a catchy chorus of a song for a ringtone, just as I don't want "clever" quotes from popular tv shows for my computer sounds.
That would be wav or mp3 ringtones.

Re:Missing the point.... (1)

f_raze13 (982309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967146)

*whoosh*

Perhaps the parent needed sarcasm tags, just for you?

Re:Missing the point.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21967452)

I don't think the original poster was being sarcastic. What am I missing?

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967032)

Just a new way to annoy people at the movies or a live show. I imagine companies will put their logos on it and then project it on to a singers shirt. Everything will become ad space.

8- 10 inches? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966174)

"A real computer in a pocket."

Are you sure you're not just happy to see me?

Re:8- 10 lumins? (2, Interesting)

ArcticCelt (660351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966274)

had to that one of those projected keypads and you have a dream portable computer.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21967314)

With 10 lumens you wont be able to do that unless you also carry around a portable darkroom.

I can see it now... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966056)

Millions of college students slipping a 50" cock into the professor's lecture while he isn't looking...

I can see it now...Over the horizon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966262)

"Millions of college students slipping a 50" cock into the professor's lecture while he isn't looking..."

Even the women?

Re:I can see it now... (1)

dookiesan (600840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966904)

This joke was stolen from another post further down in the discussion.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (2, Informative)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966068)

That's the essence of cellphones - doing a million things but SHITTY.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966100)

WTF? 50inch screen with only 10 lumin is going to be SHITTY.

Needs moar lumins?

What is a lumin anyway? Some sort of cross between a loofah and a human?

Re:8- 10 lumins? (3, Informative)

djimi (315208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966138)

It's lumens:

"The SI unit of luminous flux, equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela."

A small AA battery maglite has 15.2 lumens average, so it's brighter than a small flashlight... if that floats your boat, er lights your night.

a basic tutorial (4, Informative)

adam (1231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966206)

Being in the film industry, I work in footcandles usually and not lumens, but If I recall correctly the correlation between them is close (I'm not a cinematographer, so lighting is secondary to my normal job function). A 'birthday cake candle' in a pitch black room, will produce 1 foot candle of light at-- wait for it.. 1 foot. If you put a 1-foot-square surface (like a 12" x 12" piece of paper) 1 foot away from that candle, it will be hit with "1 lumen"

A 'normal' candle produces about 15 lumens. Incandescent bulbs (normal lightbulbs) produce about 15-18 lumens *PER WATT*. So this projector is roughly equivalent to
Now, there are claims of a 50" projection (diagonal, I assume) from this-- no specification as to how far from the projection source the 'screen' is, but light works on the inverse square law-- basically, as you double the distance from a given light source, you get a square root of intensity. So if this sucker threw 10FC at 1 foot, at 2 feet that intensity has dropped to 3.2. At 4 feet, 1.8. So if that 50" screen requires you to be 8 feet back.. forget about it.

Overall, this sounds like a cool little geek gadget, but as other posters have said, probably just another example of cellphones trying to do too much (too poorly ;). If they can increase the light output significantly, it might be useful for something other than showing someone really low brightness web pages shined onto a piece of whitepaper 10" away while in a darkened room.

Apologies if I screwed up any of my tutorial, as I said, I don't paint directly with light, I just admire the guys who do.

"Perfect lighting conditions" (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966456)

I think he mistyped "complete darkness after your eyes have adjusted".

Re:a basic tutorial (2, Funny)

bolo1729 (759710) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966620)

So if this sucker threw 10FC at 1 foot, at 2 feet that intensity has dropped to 3.2. At 4 feet, 1.8. So if that 50" screen requires you to be 8 feet back.. forget about it.
Right. You'd need at least a beowulf cluster of these...

Re:a basic tutorial (3, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966624)

The inverse square law only applies to an isotropic source - a light that's being emitted in every direction (like a candle). This is why lasers stay bright at a distance.

All that matters here is light output divided by the square inches of the screen. Assuming that this screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio and produces a 50" diagonal image, that means it produces 1200 sq in of image. This gives 10 lumens / 1200 sq in = .008 lumen / sq in.

I have no idea though if that's a lot or a little.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

PurPaBOO (604533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967226)

a lumin is a lunar moomin

Re:8- 10 lumins? (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966122)

That's how they will get you to buy the 25 lumins model next year, when the technology will ripen. Why should they lose out on the money they could make selling immature technology?

Re:8- 10 lumins? (2, Funny)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966324)

I think the "optimal conditions" mentioned would be a quantum photon trap in perfect vacuum.

Re:8- 10 lumins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966474)

I used to have one of those. Can you see it somewhere?

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966352)

You could say the same thing with the 1.3MP camera when it was released. But advances will make it better eventually. It may take a while but we might be able to make it better. And who can disagree that a weak powered something is better than nothing(unless it is windows vista :P)

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

omarin (322924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966962)

Actually, this brings to mind an interesting/useful teleconference use for this mini projector... see the movie "The Island" with Ewan McGregor: in that (scifi) movie they had cell phones that had projectors built in, so they could project against a wall and so do a "video call" with the person on the other end with a nice-size projected image of the caller. If nothing else, it would be nice to be able to better see (for example) my mom's face from 5000 miles away when wishing her happy birthday, as opposed to the voice-only connection that I have to currently settle for...

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967008)

What are you talking about. It will be perfect for overage kids to scare the crap out of each other at night as various monsters, zombies, spectres and a random assortment of dangerous animals and insects sized to a fifty inch screen leap out from random reflective surfaces.

Oh yeah, a really hot fad it most certainly will be ;).

Re:8- 10 lumins? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967084)

Well you read the article, "with perfect lighting conditions, it's possible to squeeze a 60-in. screen out of the projector."

I'm sure by "perfect lighting conditions" they mean the room is pitch black, the viewers are 15" from the image, and all of them have spent the last 10 minutes acclimating to total darkness.

sure... (1)

slimshadow (231789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21965972)

but will they still be able to make phonecalls?

Re:sure... (2, Funny)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967404)

Come on, this persistent adding of more and more features to the cellphones has got to stop! And you want to make it even worse by adding phone calls?

A 60-in screen? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21965984)

almost enough to portray my mighty wang.

=================D~~~~

Great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21965992)

Now niggers will be projecting 60" images of watermelons and fried chicken everywhere from their gold-plated mobile phones. Curses!

The thing about projectors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21965994)

Nigger. Just nigger.

Nigger, man, nigger!

"Will launch this year" means (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966000)

"Will launch next century" in nigger-time. They're always late! For shame!

oh joy (3, Funny)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966006)

And you thought laser pointers were annoying when they came out.

Seriously though, it is pretty cool.

That being said, I bought a cigarette lighter this week, and when I got home I discovered it had a laser pointer built into it, all for two bucks.

Soon my microwave will be able to use it's laser pointer to point at the projection it puts on my wall that my popcorn is done, as opposed to beeping, which would be oh so gauche.

iPhone 3.0 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966018)

Includes:
- mobile phone projector
- multi-touch screen
- wide screen
- nigger-deflector
- 3 years of AppleCare
- slipcase

I can see it now... (4, Funny)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966022)

This is only going to lead to millions of college students slipping a 50" cock into the professor's lecture while he isn't looking.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966128)

This is only going to lead to millions of college students slipping a 50" cock into the professor's....
For those of us who's minds run at about 2.5 times their reading speed, 2.5 disgusting images filled our heads.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966156)

Oh come on! an AC posted that same joke 3 lines up!

Re:I can see it now... (2, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966170)

I know! Can you believe he stole the AC's joke and somehow managed to post it 8 minutes before the AC did!

YOU FAIL!

Re:I can see it now... (3, Funny)

hmccabe (465882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966224)

This only raises the question, who the fuck is karma whoring on AC posts? I bet it's like, a Zen master or something.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

Lord Artemis (1141381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966438)

Funny doesn't increase karma, so whoever did it is...just kinda weird.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966444)

been a while since I laughed out loud on a slashdot post :)
thank you !

Re:I can see it now... (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966430)

Well this is too big a mystery for me to solve, looks like we'l have to call in the Hardly Boys.

Re:I can see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966184)

Yeah, and now look at the time of both posts...
YES! Well noticed, up does indeed not mean earlier!

Re:I can see it now... (4, Funny)

hmccabe (465882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966210)

I don't want to be that old guy who bitches about how easy kids have it these days, but when I was a college freshman, we didn't have anything like this. If I wanted to distract the class with an absurdly large cock, I had to whip out my own.

Absurdly large? (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966390)

Kids these days. Surely taking up one penis enlargement offer is enough for anybody. I bet you were also checking the time on one of your dozen or so cheap Rolex's too.

Re:Absurdly large? (2, Funny)

Auldclootie (1131129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966604)

The gauntlet has been thrown - the challenge accepted. I WILL get 12 Rolexes on the said appendage. Stay tuned - This may take some time as i have to synchronize watches...

I can see it now...Panorama. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966584)

Aw, you're just pulling my leg. No, my other leg.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966442)

More like 4" cocks. At 10 lumens, that's about as big as you could make it while keeping it visible. Seriously, don't real projectors usually rate in the hundreds of lumens?

Re:I can see it now... (1)

Malawar (674186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966664)

My cheap InFocus projector rates at 1700 lumens, and it needs to be pretty dark for the picture quality to be nice. Of course, throwing a decent screen in instead of projecting onto an off-white wall helped a ton too. 10 lumens is going to be nearly useless.

I can see it now...Dildoes at dawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966454)

"This is only going to lead to millions of college students slipping a 50" cock into the professor's lecture while he isn't looking."

Even the women?

Re:I can see it now... (2, Funny)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966468)

I've never heard it called a 'lecture' before. Oh, wait....

I thought it was a dupe... (4, Insightful)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966032)

... but this is not the same as this one http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/03/0418221 [slashdot.org] . This one is led based and seems to be smaller but the PicoP one is laser based and images seems to be better. That is the one I want on a mobile phone. OTOH I don't want these on my mobile phone...

Were getting close (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966178)

One step closer to the MPP (Mobile Porn Platform)

One hand keeping the cellphone steady and the other hand fap, fap, fapping away.

Of course we are going to need a hell of lot more then 8-10 lumens.

Re:Were getting close (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966726)

THAN you cretinous yank.

Re:Were getting close (2, Funny)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967046)

Yeah, and of course most cell phones already have vibrators. What we are all anxiously awaiting is one with an artificial vagina as well.

Its time (1)

ls354 (1144513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966230)

Time to roll out the tin foil covered flying pigs.

Better for the ultimate laptop than phones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966280)

ive been thinking about an all in 1 laptop being useful but i cant see how this is useful in a phone

An Enhanced EEE ( or EEEE ) would be much better use for this.
Then you integrate bluetooth and project to IR blobs to the top of the screen and get the Wiimote Enhance EEEE ( or WEEEEE )
Alternatively full sized laptops would be a good platform for this, because whos going to use it for anything other than showing of on a phone.

Re:Better for the ultimate laptop than phones! (1)

artg (24127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967278)

Does anyone use a phone for anything OTHER than showing off ?

phones? bah! (3, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966296)

sod the mobile phone market.

I am waiting for my mini laser powered home cinema projector that I can get for £100 (or $200 if you like), never have to change a £300 bulb on a £300 projector, never have a loud whirry fan and huge amounts of excess heat, generates a good HD image with a respectable amount of lumens and can be tastefully hidden in a wall of books with a drop down projector screen on the over side of the room. Now *thats* a product I would get excited by.

Rubbish 10 lumen images projected from a bloody mobile phones of all gizmo's are nothing to me except an obvious tactic to attempt to sell phones. Of course the projector market might suppress this because of bulb sales, but who knows?

The alternative use for this technology is mini computers with projected screens and laser/IR keyboards that can fit in a pocket and allow office work against a hotel wall with full wifi, SSD and decent battery life. Now thats another use I would get exited by. I want my Zardoz projector/interface ring.

Re:phones? bah! (3, Informative)

bheer (633842) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966850)

I am waiting for my mini laser powered home cinema projector that I can get for £100 (or $200 if you like), never have to change a £300 bulb on a £300 projector, never have a loud whirry fan and huge amounts of excess heat, generates a good HD image with a respectable amount of lumens and can be tastefully hidden in a wall of books with a drop down projector screen on the over side of the room.

This [pcmag.com] might interest you, then.

Missed the point - they need to start small. (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967024)

This is going into phones first precisely because, at the moment they can only make small low power ones. Mobile market = gadget obsessed, huge volumes = drive down cost = pay for R&D = get bigger ones more quickly.

Why do you think electric bicycles are more common than electric cars even though electric bicycles are less useful? Because it's easy to build an electric bike, hard to build an electric car, but the commercialisation drives public acceptance at affordable prices. Why are e-readers crap? Because they can't make a cheap A4/USL screen yet, that's why. So sell to the gadget obsessed to get the customer feedback and some return on investment till they can do it right.

As for projector sellers suppressing laser projectors, that's nonsense. Projector sellers want to replace LCD monitors. Who makes LCDs? Samsung. Who makes DLP chips? TI (I'm simplifying, admittedly, but I think the logic is correct.)

Re:phones? bah! (3, Funny)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967066)

a good HD image with a respectable amount of lumens

Your language usage is weird. The word you are looking for is "bright", not "a respectable amount of lumens". Similarly, it's "hot", not "a respectable amount of celcius". And Sahara is "big", not "a respectable amount of square kilometers". Finally, Bush is "dumb", not "having an embarassing amount of IQs".

Malarkey (0, Offtopic)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966302)

Balderdash.

Re:Malarkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21967442)

I call shenanigans.

Hogwash.

For your cellphone? what use is that? (2, Interesting)

deckardt (989092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966310)

Why a cellphone? so that everyone can see who's calling me? I see a lot of other cool possibilities, perhaps a new market for personal portable media.

What about adding this projector to portable videoplayers/camera's or a (video) iPod (iPhone as well)
Or build it into a car / (portable) gps navigation system so you can use your cars windscreen as a transparent heads up display!
Another cool application could be a replacement of the virtual laser keyboard [thinkgeek.com] creating a virtual optimus [artlebedev.com] with dynamic keys :)

Could this be the start of a new 'hype' a lot of people are waiting for?

Re:For your cellphone? what use is that? (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966372)

Why a cellphone? so that everyone can see who's calling me?

Wait, you mean, you mainly use your cellphone to give/receive phone calls? lol! 1998 just called, they want you back.

Re:For your cellphone? what use is that? (1)

deckardt (989092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966418)

Don't underestimate the amount of people who have a social life :]

Didn't you watch Star Wars? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966738)

Now everyone can have their princess leia projected while talking to her, of course she is on the wall but one day she will literally spring up from the phone as you lay it down on the table and chat using your BT headset.

Hell, done right we will eventually be able to do presentations for people who can't come into the office. Real time video and projection combined to make a cool tool. I figure it is just like cell based cameras, first two generations suck before something truly useful comes along

Battery life ... (1)

ndixon (184723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966428)

... is expected to be over 45 minutes.

Seriously, could the manufacturers try to produce a phone that goes, like, a whole week on a single charge?

Re:Battery life ... (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966478)

... is expected to be over 45 minutes. Seriously, could the manufacturers try to produce a phone that goes, like, a whole week on a single charge?

Sure, they could - if they find cheap new compounds that can safely store massive quantities of energy, or if they design a super energy efficient phone (and yes, that usually means not so many cool features/abilities).


...unless you're all for carrying what amounts to mini-bombs in your pocket?

PS: I get about 5~6 days on one full charge. Use an extended battery, turn off the backlight option, and don't make calls often ;)

Re:Battery life ... (3, Informative)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967158)

Seriously, could the manufacturers try to produce a phone that goes, like, a whole week on a single charge?
They have, it is called a cell phone. It has no camera, it doesn't surf the internet, no MP3 player, no mini-tv screen. It just makes calls. Mine is a Samsung SCH-A310. The call quality isn't bad either.

I guess when all that space is used for making a plain phone instead of the swiss army phone, the designers can concentrate on doing one thing well. In this case that one thing is making calls.

Re:Battery life ... (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967428)

Exactly what I was thinking.
They should fix batteries first, then focus on gimmicks.

Phones? (1)

Gibsnag (885901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966440)

What is with the scope creep in the mobile phone industry?

I don't know if one already exists, but what'd be more useful in a small form factor projector would be a USB powered laptop projector, with VGA input.

Sigh (1)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966460)

As if "playing out" [hovis21.com] isn't already an annoying problem, it looks like we'll soon have to deal with "projecting out" too.

Finally VRD technology for the masses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966496)

Is that the Microvision (http://www.microvision.com/ [microvision.com] ) technology? If it is, that might finally be the first step towards VRD displays for mobile phones/laptops... and I can't wait to get rid of the monitors, they suck as a technology.

I first heard about them 10 years ago, when they made the first VRD display (the thing which projects picture directly on the eye). The thing is available, but relatively expensive, and I think they mostly sold it to military. Then I heard about this mobile-phone-projector thingie, which uses the same technology. I hope the next step is cheaper weareable VRD display...

but when ... ? (1)

sudo (194998) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966522)

But when are they going to release the head-attached laser beams for my sharks?

darkness calls... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966644)

8-10 Lumens and they try to sell that? That's less bright than a candle. Now I know we started cinema with candles and camera obscura, but what this means for real life is that you have to make the room dark, as in pitch black, in order to see anything.

Look at some comparisons [wikipedia.org] . Note that normal projectors like you use for home cinema, have 200 Lumens and up.

Another feature to be crippled by Verizon (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966660)

Those bastards!

Killer app (2, Funny)

timf (21111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966712)

I'd love one of these, if only so I could send captured plans to allies in the memory systems of one of these cell-phone units, along with an appropriate video message. You know, along the lines of:

"General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person..." etc.

Help me obi-wan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966728)

you are my only hope...

yo0 Fail it.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966846)

free-loving climate those uber-asshole chosen, whatever or make loud noises the project to Transfer, Nets3ape MAKES ME SICK JUST said. 'Screaming The failure of Brain. It is the

Disruptive technology (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966878)

All the bleating about scope creep and so on completely misses the point. This is a potentially disruptive technology because it has the long term power to get rid of the _monitor_. Monitors are horrible, they are big and clunky. They determine the form factor of laptops and notebooks. Really and truly, we don't want them.

Now imagine in a few years where your display surface might just be a cheap light screen with a simple support to hold it at different angles. The computer can be almost any shape that suits, perhaps with a fold out keyboard. You can have a big screen on your desk, a small clip on screen that you use on the train. Perhaps the computer has a wireless dongle that includes the display driver, perhaps it's built in, perhaps both.

Using a curved screen might involve no more than an adjustable object in the optical path to deal with the pincushion distortion - use of lasers means focus at virtually any distance.

Microsoft has built up a huge business based solely on the mouse, monitor,keyboard model. Apple has started to move away from it. This is a little gadget which could reshape the desktop computer industry. It shouldn't be underestimated.

Hmmmmm... (1)

HomeLights (1097581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966892)

all your bases are belong to us

hmmm... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966914)

I'll start printing up those signs for our bars 'Use of phoneprojectors NOT allowed'..

Oh great! (2, Funny)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967074)

Now people will be watching movies with their cell phones while driving.

That's more like 5 inches (4, Informative)

Aaron Isotton (958761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967092)

What counts in a projector is contrast (e.g. how much brighter is a "white" projected spot as opposed to a "black" projected spot).

Obviously this depends on ambient light, since the darkest part of the screen (i.e. the "black spot") is illuminated only by ambient light (assuming that 'black' in the projector means 'no light passes').

Illuminance is measured in Lux (lx). Lux is defined as follows.

Lux = Lumen / m^2.

Now, a "good" contrast is 10-15, i.e. a white spot will be illuminated with 10-15 times the lx a black spot is.

Normal ambient light is highly variable; a typical table in a lecture room should be illuminated with about 500-1000 lx; the ambient light on your typical screen in an illuminated room (i.e. not a theatre) will be illuminated with maybe 100-500 lx.

So in order to obtain a proper picture a projector should be able to do at least 1000 lx. Comparison: a typical home cinema beamer has about 2000 lumen and projects an area of about 2x1.12m; this means 2000 lumen / 2.24 m^2 = ~900 lx. And guess what, the picture is just fine when the room is "quite dark" and pretty washed out when it is illuminated.

With the claimed 8-10 lumen - let's assume 10 - you can thus illuminate

10 lumen / 1000 lx = 0.01 m^2

Assuming a picture format of 16:9, that's a picture size of

sqrt(0.01 m^2 / (16 * 9)) * 16 = 0.13 m width
sqrt(0.01 m^2 / (16 * 9)) * 9 = 0.075 m height

An incredible 13 cm x 7.5 cm! (5" x 3" for Americans).

That's a diagonal of 5.8". Makes sense since a 2000 lumen projector is 200 times more powerful and accordingly projects an image with sqrt(200) = ~14 times the diagonal.

Except in the darkest of situations, you will *never* have an usable 50 inch image with a lousy 10 lumen.

ringtones ... (1)

fourbissime (1026544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967126)

Damn, I can see the brand new sound and visual geeky ringtone ... "dzzzt. help me obiwan kenobi, you're my only hope ! dzzzt."

How can I fail to notice... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967332)

Phone...pr0n...only a typo apart, soon to be one.

How about emitting other portions of the spectrum? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967368)

I think a real hit would be a cell phone that emits microwaves.

For those of us that want to reheat the morning coffee on the way to work.

Thought Pollution (1)

iBod (534920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967390)

As if it isn't bad enough that brain-dead shit-heads can force their choice 'music' upon us via 1000 Watt car audio system, now we can look forward to them projecting Goatse.cx and Tubgirl on any available surface.

I think we should stop technology now. I've had enough.

Resolution ? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967456)

They speak of an "impressive VGA resolution" but no numbers in the article. Someone has any idea of the number of pixel this thing can output ?
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