Mini-projector for smartphone may change the way we play with our phones

Smartphone mini-projector

My grandma hates showing me photos on her smartphone. It’s small and “pinch and zoom” doesn’t show the full photo — “I just miss prints,” she says. This very neat concept smartphone projector, however, may solve her problem.

A group of scientists have come up with a concept for a miniature projector that would connect to any kind of smartphone and allow the user to control the phone from the projection itself. The scientists from the Frauhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering studied the composite eyes of insects, which were the inspiration for the projector technology. Using a similar composite projector system, the images are intended to be good enough to show off vacation pictures without the blur that occurs when light hits a flat surface at an angle.

Smartphone mini projectorThis crispness is achieved through an array projection. Array projection is where many tiny LED projectors are brought together to display one big image. Those tiny projections each have their own version of the image and can be brought together to project an image as clear as your smartphone, devoid of fraying at the edges.

Because of these composite projectors, which take a different angle on the image, smartphones with curved screens can have their images projected on a flat or straight surface.

New takes on touch technology have been getting a lot of attention recently. Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University recently announced a new technology called Touché. The technology will one day allow any kind of object to know it is being touched. Based on the type of touch, these items may one day be able to trigger actions. For instance, if you poked a door knob in a certain way, it could set off processes which would lock the door.

The projector would be a huge improvement in sharing content from your phone with the people physically around you. There are so many uses. You could play games with friends, given that the projector allows you to control content from projection. You could much more easily share photos with friends. It would also be helpful for those who watch movies and videos on the go, but want a bigger display.

Now let’s hope it moves from concept to reality.