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Apple may add micro projectors to iPhones, iPod touches

post #1 of 52
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With the storage capacities of iPhones and iPod touches on the rise, consumers are likely to begin carrying more and more of their digital video content on the devices, and could soon have the capability to project those videos for friends and family just about anywhere.

According to Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes, Foxlink, a subsidiary of Apple's iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn, is currently developing its own micro projector technology that should begin making its way into integrated devices as early as this year.

The publication cited sources "with Taiwan handset makers" who say that tier I smartphone makers such Nokia, Samsung and Apple, "reportedly all plan to launch handsets with built-in micro projectors by the end of this year."

Micro projects are an emerging technology for small form-factor handheld devices comprised of miniaturized hardware and software that can project digital images onto any nearby viewing surface, such as a wall of projection screen.

They're positioned at devices like the iPhone and iPod touch, which are sometimes too tiny to accommodate interfaces for connecting directly to external displays or televisions.

Several third parties have already taken to developing standalone micro projectors that can attach to existing iPhones and iPods, like Microvision's portable PicoP projector that was profiled by AppleInsider when it drew crowds at January's Macworld Expo.

Still a prototype at the time, device worked with either a composite video or RGB video input at standard definition WVGA video resolution (848x480), optionally displayed in a 16:9 wide aspect ratio. The battery was rated for 2 hours, and the focus-free unit was shown projecting a picture up to about 100 inches diagonal.





A brief video demonstration of the device in action can be seen above.
post #2 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With the storage capacities of iPhones and iPod touches on the rise, consumers are likely to begin carrying more and more of their digital video content on the devices, and could soon have the capability to project those videos for friends and family just about anywhere.

According to Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes, Foxlink, a subsidiary of Apple's iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn, is currently developing its own micro projector technology that should begin making its way into integrated devices as early as this year.

The publication cited sources "with Taiwan handset makers" who say that tier I smartphone makers such Nokia, Samsung and Apple, "reportedly all plan to launch handsets with built-in micro projectors by the end of this year."

Micro projects are an emerging technology for small form-factor handheld devices comprised of miniaturized hardware and software that can project digital images onto any nearby viewing surface, such as a wall of projection screen.

They're positioned at devices like the iPhone and iPod touch, which are sometimes too tiny to accommodate interfaces for connecting directly to external displays or televisions.

Several third parties have already taken to developing standalone micro projectors that can attach to existing iPhones and iPods, like Microvision's portable PicoP projector that was profiled by AppleInsider when it drew crowds at January's Macworld Expo.

Still a prototype at the time, device worked with either a composite video or RGB video input at standard definition WVGA video resolution (848x480), optionally displayed in a 16:9 wide aspect ratio. The battery was rated for 2 hours, and the focus-free unit was shown projecting a picture up to about 100 inches diagonal.





A brief video demonstration of the device in action can be seen above.

yay first whoa yay im first ur not lucky me!
post #3 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by alectheking View Post

yay first whoa yay im first ur not lucky me!

THreat. That said there exist technology to shoot display if keyboards onto any surface using lasers. I see no reason why we would nit be able to show video except battery life. This will requir it being plugged in. Hopefully the will take the wireless charging from the ore and add it to the iPhone.

One piece of fiber is really all we need. Time to dump the plugs.
post #4 of 52
Nice technology. I can see Apple making an iMac without the monitor, just a projecting keyboard.
Make it idiotproof and they'll just make a
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Make it idiotproof and they'll just make a
better idiot.
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post #5 of 52
I'd rather see a flash for the camera first but wouldn't mind having it.
post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcloki View Post

Nice technology. I can see Apple making an iMac without the monitor, just a projecting keyboard.

Brilliant observation. Both the cost savings and the environmental benefits would be huge.

Of course, others could likely beat Apple to this.....
post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcloki View Post

Nice technology. I can see Apple making an iMac without the monitor, just a projecting keyboard.

I can see millions of people not buying an iMac if Apple did that.
post #8 of 52
Has anyone seen the inside of an iPod touch or iPhone? There's no way this could possibly fit inside without substantially increasing the size of either and decreasing the battery life to pretty much nothing.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #9 of 52
Me? I'll settle for better battery life!

While I appreciate the thinness of my iPod touch 2G, the battery life is deplorable!

If Apple could substantially improve battery life by making it even a millimeter or two thicker, I think it would serve a LOT more users in a REAL way than a whizzy, marginal feature like a projector.
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Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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post #10 of 52
To get a projector into an iPhone will be a miracle. There is no more space left inside it. Apple will need to re-miniaturize the whole components once again to fit anything inside the iPhone.

And assuming that is achieved, where will power come from? A larger battery or a "SUPER" battery?
The whole thing is not impossible, however how many people are willing to pay more for an iPhone that its price has been lowered continuously since its launch? Sure it will cost more. Either AT&T going to spend more on subsidy, or Apple is going to lower its margin. Are we going ask the Chinese to take pay cuts and work 24hrs so the world can get an iPhone with projector without increase in price? Yeah right!

The whole story is just iffy at best!
post #11 of 52
Not sure how useful it would be, but they have to keep adding features to attract new customers and have people want to upgrade. Have read about this being added to laptops to give presentations.

http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/10039.html

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

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24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

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post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... The publication cited sources "with Taiwan handset makers" who say that tier I smartphone makers such Nokia, Samsung and Apple, "reportedly all plan to launch handsets with built-in micro projectors by the end of this year."...

This is a highly dubious rumour and the title of this article is just irresponsible.

This article has been repeated all over the net and is on Digg this morning as well as being referenced on a couple of sites as "Apple to add micro-projectors to iPhone," when in fact it's so unlikely as to be ridiculous.

The smallest tech in micro-projectors basically still takes up more volume and more power than an entire iPhone. The idea that this is coming as an integrated technology "by the end of this year" is a joke. What's more likely (and in fact already headed to manufacture as we speak), are adapters and cases like the Morphie juice pack that have this technology in them.

Micro-projector accessories by the end of the year? Sure. Micro-projectors inside iPhones? Not likely for years yet.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #13 of 52
Help me Stevi Jobs Kenobi, you're my only hope.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

To get a projector into an iPhone will be a miracle. There is no more space left inside it. Apple will need to re-miniaturize the whole components once again to fit anything inside the iPhone.

And assuming that is achieved, where will power come from? A larger battery or a "SUPER" battery?
The whole thing is not impossible, however how many people are willing to pay more for an iPhone that its price has been lowered continuously since its launch? Sure it will cost more. Either AT&T going to spend more on subsidy, or Apple is going to lower its margin. Are we going ask the Chinese to take pay cuts and work 24hrs so the world can get an iPhone with projector without increase in price? Yeah right!

The whole story is just iffy at best!

I think they'll have figured out a proper, elegant solution before any one of us will here, if this is true.

Wasn't that long ago when people didn't think Apple could design a phone.

Wasn't that long ago when people thought non-removable batteries would be failures, etc.
post #15 of 52
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Originally Posted by alectheking View Post

Just because I don't wear condoms when I play with the sheep on my farm doesn't mean I'm dirty.

Uhh ok.
post #16 of 52
Not bloody likely. Where do you guys find this stuff?
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDonG4 View Post

Help me Stevi Jobs Kenobi, you're my only hope.

Excellent.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #18 of 52
I call BS.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I can see millions of people not buying an iMac if Apple did that.

I agree to disagree. Even though it could be literally useless etc etc, but the way Apple does things is different. Apple usually redefines a category of products. If not, may be Apple will use some clever tactics
post #20 of 52
There's no way that Apple is going to increase the iPhone's size to accommodate the current size of microprojectors. The MBP200 that was just released offers a resolution of only 480×320 pixels and is as big as a cellphone itself at a cost of $700. Yeah, Apple's just going to throw that in as an added feature. MAYBE in a few years.
post #21 of 52
How bout they make the projector an add-on through the dock connector
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post #22 of 52
After a visit to the Apple store I was disappointed to learn that the iPhone and iPod Touch can only project videos. Why can't it project screen content?

If Apple wanted to put an iPhone in the pocket of every business person in world, they should develop a mobile Keynote app that would either

A) remotely control Keynote on the computer hooked to the projector

or

B) allow the iPhone or iPod Touch to project a packaged Keynote presentation or demo of an application directly. I'd love to be able to run a presentation from my iPod.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

To get a projector into an iPhone will be a miracle. There is no more space left inside it. Apple will need to re-miniaturize the whole components once again to fit anything inside the iPhone.

Or create a bigger iPhone.

I proposed this long ago, that Apple should have three versions of the iPhone.

A flip version to act like a loss leader, the regular model and a larger version with more bells and whistles like a iTablet.
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post

After a visit to the Apple store I was disappointed to learn that the iPhone and iPod Touch can only project videos. Why can't it project screen content?

Because Apple doesn't hold focus groups.

This comes from Mr. Ives himself.
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

Not bloody likely. Where do you guys find this stuff?

Seriously.. Macrumors posted this story too but that doesn't really amount to much. You'd think these guys would have learned by now not to post garbage for the sake of pacifying their readers. It's old news and it's highly unlikely.
post #26 of 52
Why not just provide a dock connector -> HDMI cable?

Such a cable is surely not much bigger than the added bulk of the projector.
And almost everyone and their friend has a TV at home with an HDMI connector.
Makes much more sense than a low-brightness pico projector that sucks battery life...

Ah yeah, Apple doesn't do HDMI. That's why.
They'd probably rather add a pico projector...
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcloki View Post

Nice technology. I can see Apple making an iMac without the monitor, just a projecting keyboard.

You would still need a screen to project onto. I really can't see this happening.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

You would still need a screen to project onto. I really can't see this happening.

Or you could wear a white shirt.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #29 of 52
Considering the New iPod will contain a chip capable of deciphering 720p. It would only make sense for the Company to offer HD Out. I actually believe they are leaving this feature for the iPod only (differentiate between iPhone). I'm guessing the reason they don't do HDMI is licensing, but considering the dock is now open I can imagine somebody somewhere will get smart and pay the fees necessary.
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post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I'd rather see a flash for the camera first but wouldn't mind having it.

Yeah, me too. A projector is nice but I'd like all the other hardware components to be fully functional. Right now taking a picture in the evening is difficult. RIM gets that people want to use their cameras at night too so why doesn't Apple?
post #31 of 52
Or, they could be headed for the rumored tablet - an end of the year iPhone revision is unusual.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes, Foxlink, a subsidiary of Apple's iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn, is currently developing its own micro projector technology that should begin making its way into integrated devices as early as this year.

It doesnt seem feasible but who knows! They have managed to shrink a camera and camcorder into the ultra slim iPhone so I guess anything is possible.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post

If Apple wanted to put an iPhone in the pocket of every business person in world, they should develop a mobile Keynote app that would either

A) remotely control Keynote on the computer hooked to the projector
or
B) allow the iPhone or iPod Touch to project a packaged Keynote presentation or demo of an application directly. I'd love to be able to run a presentation from my iPod.

A. They do. Keynote Controller app is available on App Store.
B. Hopefully we'll see this soon. It is/(was?) (3.0 has supposedly changed some things) possible with the video out cable and the right code using currently unofficial API
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Yeah, me too. A projector is nice but I'd like all the other hardware components to be fully functional. Right now taking a picture in the evening is difficult. RIM gets that people want to use their cameras at night too so why doesn't Apple?

Apple DOES get it. It's incremental. Could have had oled screens in the 3gs.. why not? have to have bait for the next go-round. Incredibly frustrating but unquestionably effective none the less.
post #35 of 52
Aaaaaaahhhh, finally a way to project obscene images/video on my buddies back as he walks down the hall! These projectors will be new fodder for those annoying people with laser pointers. Movie theaters or any dark room will be turned into obscene image planetariums. My god the potential for juvenile humor is endless!
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post

After a visit to the Apple store I was disappointed to learn that the iPhone and iPod Touch can only project videos. Why can't it project screen content?

The iPhone and iPod Touch do not project anything. It is up to the device to get the data from the device and project it.
Apple has the ability to get the data out (as seen in the iPhone keynotes) thru a cable so perhaps with 3.0, Apple will open this up for others.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDonG4 View Post

Help me Stevi Jobs Kenobi, you're my only hope.

Haha, that was my first thought as well. But then I'd need an iSaber.

(that was quite possibly the dorkiest thought I've ever had.)

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iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

The iPhone and iPod Touch do not project anything. It is up to the device to get the data from the device and project it.
Apple has the ability to get the data out (as seen in the iPhone keynotes) thru a cable so perhaps with 3.0, Apple will open this up for others.

I think he is talking about display mirroring through the 30-pin connector, like Apple uses in Keynotes and Special Events.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #39 of 52
Well, not in the iPhone. Apple's upcoming media tablet might be a better place to put one. And if the rumor is right, an introduction before christmas sounds reasonable.. I thought Q2 2010, but.. perhaps it's ready to go by christmas.
post #40 of 52
[QUOTE=polar315;1445032]Not sure how useful it would be, but they have to keep adding features to attract new customers and have people want to upgrade.

There's an app for that (attract customers). Good luck for the featurephone-producers.

By the way: nobody who's caring a bit about picture quality would use any kind of projector in a room which isn't darkened (otherwise no blacks on the screen). So, this 'technology' seems a bit doubtful to me.

And: why should Apple add it, if it's not useful?
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