Pico Projector

Samsung Beam I8520 projector-phone hands-on [Video]

Samsung Beam I8520 projector-phone hands-on [Video]

Slapping a pico-projector module into a phone isn't exactly new, but Samsung's Beam I8520 is perhaps the first that has us truly tempted.  The smartphone - formerly known by its "Halo" codename - ticks plenty of the boxes many shop for handsets by: it runs Android 2.1 on a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display with capacitive touchscreen, and has an 8.1-megapixel camera on the back complete with an LED flash.  On top of Android Samsung have used their TouchWiz 3.0 UI, and while we've never been especially big fans - in comparison to other manufacture-specific software environments - the whole thing moves along at a decent lick of speed.

Of course, the real interest here is the integrated pico-projector.  Samsung have used a Texas Instruments DLP module running at WVGA resolution, just like the Beam's own AMOLED display, and it's triggered by holding down a button on the right-hand side.  Whatever's on the main display can be projected, and the Beam's pico has a 6 lumen brightness rating.

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Generic Mini USB pico projector is cheapest in the land

Generic Mini USB pico projector is cheapest in the land

There is a lot to like about pico projectors in theory, but in use, they leave a lot to be desired with the tech available today. The promise of a pico projector is that you can take them anywhere with minimal bulk and watch films or give presentations with a larger viewable image. The big issue with every pico projector I have used is that they aren’t bright enough.

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AAXA L1 laser pico-projector: focus-free but madly expensive

AAXA L1 laser pico-projector: focus-free but madly expensive

Pico-projector company AAXA have outed their latest model, and the L1 carves a niche for itself by using LCoS laser technology rather than the more usual DLP.  The AAXA L1 is capable of projecting up to a 20-lumens 50-inch picture at 800 x 600 resolution, and thanks to the lasers it's all focus-free: no frustrating focus wheel to twiddle, just point and go.  In fact it can even project clearly onto curved surfaces.

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Texas Instruments OMAP4 hands-on

Texas Instruments OMAP4 hands-on

Mobile World Congress 2010 is fast approaching, but here at SlashGear we thought we'd grab a head start on our coverage. We caught up with Texas Instruments at their Dallas office to take a look at their latest OMAP3 and OMAP4 chipsets and some of the development hardware they've been producing. Most interesting, perhaps, is the OMAP4-based device you see here, capable of simultaneously driving three independent displays and packing a pico-projector module.

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Light Touch projected touchscreen gets daylight demo [Video]

Light Touch projected touchscreen gets daylight demo [Video]

Light Blue Optics launched their Light Touch projected display technology back at CES 2010, but the majority of the video demos we saw were performed in relatively low-light environments.  Obviously the team are braver now, since they've taken their prototype - which uses a laser projector to create an image, and sensors to track finger-movement around that image - over to show to Robert Scoble.

Video demo after the cut

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