We’ve all seen the ad for the LG eXpo phone that has a man walking into the office kitchenette, turning off the lights and projecting a trailer for Avatar on to the wall for his coworkers to see. While the commercial is cute, it does make you wonder if this is something that will ever become a standard feature on phones.
For as long as phones have had multimedia functions and Internet connectivity, it’s been the custom to pass a phone around when you want to show someone a picture or video. What if you want to show several people the same thing at the same time, though? That’s the idea behind adding a projector to your cell phone, and while it does have some obvious benefits, we think it’s going to take some more engineering before it catches on.
While it’s a nice idea to project what’s on your phone on to a wall, cell phones have been getting smaller over the years. Slapping what looks like some sort of cancerous tumor to the backside of the phone isn’t going to make people drool all over a phone and think they need to get one. How well is this going to hang off of your belt? Do you really want this against your chest in a shirt pocket, distorting the way your shirt hangs? Imagine trying to sit in a car seat with this thing in your back pocket.
The obvious target for these devices are business people that need to give a presentation. Setting a cell phone on a conference table is going to be a lot more pleasing than hauling out your laptop, a projector and a bunch of cables. Set the phone down, bring up your slides and you’re done. But will the market for these phones be large enough for it to ever hit the mainstream?
At the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Texas Instruments DLP Products announced around a dozen new products using its PICO projectors, from more cell phones to camera and media players, they are trying to stuff this technology into whatever they can. While we can see definite benefits to some of these other products, we just can’t see this being a major player in the cell phone market until they can integrate the projector more fully into the body of the phone. The hump is just not going to make people want to carry this phone around all the time as their primary phone when you have devices like the iPhone and Nexus One getting close to being razor thin.
What do you think? Do you want a projector in your phone if it means dealing with the hump?