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First Pocket Projector Set to Debut this Month

First Pocket Projector Set to Debut this Month

Jason Mick / DailyTech

September 18, 2008

‘3M releases pocket size projector… way cooler than a pocket protector.’ -

Gone are the days of hauling a big cumbersome projector into your corporate meeting room or college lecture hall for presentations. Now, a new projector is set to debut that literally can fit in your pocket.

Images of the production version of the new gadget, the MPro110 mini projector made by 3M, have finally appeared. Set to retail for a mere $359, the projector is sure to excite, but it has its share of problems. It comes with a VGA input for your laptop; and a composite video jack for all sorts of media, including digital cameras, PSPs, iPods, iPhones, or most any handheld device.

Among the shortcomings are image size and brightness. Images were discernible for projections of up to 11 inches. However, under bright lights they were faded and not very bright. Video and text can be hard to see at this size. However, in a dark room the performance is much better and relatively large images are possible.

Another absent feature is a speaker. For movies, you will have to bring a separate speaker, unlike larger projectors which frequently have audio built in. This is, however, probably an unavoidable loss, as speaker quality at this size would be pretty poor anyways.

Focusing is accomplished via a thumbwheel located on the device.

Other companies have promised for some time that such a device was just around the corner and they were going to be the ones to bring it to market. Microvision had been developing a mini projector using lasers and microscopic mirrors. Texas Instruments had a similar device using DLP chips and Light Blue Optics. However, it appears that in the end that 3M swooped in and stole the show.

Their projector does its thing with a mere LED lamp and little LCoS screens, a variation on LCD tech, widely used in projectors. It isn’t beautiful, but it gets the job done and goes on sale September 30. 3M announced that it plans to bring the device to next generation cell phones.

© 2008, DailyTech

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