What you need to know about pico projectors
Posted: 27th Jan 2012
Wouldn’t it be great, for example, if your phone remained pocket sized and portable, but could also double up as a cinema like display when you want it?
That’s what’s on offer with the latest generation of pico-projectors: tiny projectors that use LED bulbs to throw big, bright images from a device the size of a matchbox.
The name pico comes from the Italian ‘piccolo’ and means ‘small’, and these little boxes of wonder have been popular with business and sales personnel for a few years now, because of their extreme portability.
Up until now, however, most pico-projectors have required an HDMI input to work. This year, we’re going to see a lot more which are compatible with smartphones like Apple’s iPhone that don’t have a native HDMI port.
Inside a pico-projector, the technology is very similar to normal projectors, using either DPL or LCD chips to create the image. A third type of pico-projector uses lasers to ‘write’ the picture one pixel at a time, although these are less common.
The future, however, has a large role set aside for pico-projectors. Combined with a mobile device’s on-board camera, with the right motion tracking software they have the ability to turn any surface into a giant touchscreen. As prices come down, expect this idea to become more common.