[AI] Coming soon, to any flat surface near you
dl.vikas at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 00:05:15 EDT 2008
Coming soon, to any flat surface near you
New York Times
Posted online: Monday, March 31, 2008 at 2214 hrs
New York, March 30 : Tired of hearing other people's cellphone conversations? It may become worse. Soon you may have to watch their favourite television
shows and YouTube videos, too, as they project them onto nearby walls or commuter-train seatbacks.
Pint-size digital projectors are in the works. These devices, when plugged into cellphones and portable media players, will let consumers beam video content
from their hand-held devices to the closest smooth surface-entertaining themselves, annoying their neighbours and possibly contributing to a new warning
sign: No Projectors in This Area. The microprojectors, still in prototype, use light-emitting diodes, lasers or a combination of the two to cast a display
of up to 50 or 60 inches, or perhaps even wider, in darkened spaces and 7 to 20 inches or so when there is ambient light.
Digital projectors were once bulky. These new models, though, are small enough to fit into the pocket of consumers who want a big-screen experience from
a small-screen device. Some of the models are expected to be on the market by year-end, or sooner.
Prices have yet to be announced. Matthew S. Brennesholtz, an analyst at Insight Media, a marketing research firm in Norwalk, Connecticut, says he thinks
the projectors will initially cost about $350, then quickly drop to less than $300.
The projectors may be particularly useful for business presentations-for example, when road warriors need to show a product video to small groups. No coordination
would be needed to arrange for a screen. Instead, a patch of wall within a cubicle or restaurant could serve for an impromptu presentation. In a pinch,
a manila folder-or even a napkin-would work, too.
Carolina Milanesi, a research director in London for Gartner, the research firm, says she thinks the microprojectors are most likely to appeal to business
travelers who, for example, could use them to beam PowerPoint shows from their smartphones. But Milanesi is dubious about consumers using them in public,
for instance, to project documents on a train seatback because they could so easily be read by others. "I hate it even when I am on the subway and the
guy next to me is reading my paper," she said.
The projectors will first appear in free-standing, companion units to cellphones and other devices, Brennesholtz said, connected to them by standard cables.
Later, the projector modules will be directly embedded in phones, as cameras are today. About 16 manufacturers are working on mini-projectors, he said.
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