Although the idea of projecting technology has long intrigued due to its potential for being incorporated into tiny gadgets, businesses have failed to make the projection surface – usually big, distant, and white – useful for regular tasks. Two firms are now using ultra-short throw projectors to combine projection and productivity.
There have been a lot of portable monitors to endure the crowdfunding grinder; several have claimed to be the thinnest in their category. But SPUD, the Spontaneous Pop-Up Display, was not one of them.
The 24″ SPUD shared with living room rear-projection TVs the big-screen benefit early in the HD transition thanks to a projector behind a collapsible white screen.
The device has a foldable high-resolution screen that you can open like an umbrella.
The creator of the SPUD, Arovia, is back with Splay, which has a more amusing name that alludes to “display” and a synonym for “expand.” The new version is visibly brighter and half an inch larger than the original.
According to the manufacturer, it spent several years developing Splay’s wrinkle-resistant surface technology. The Splay pico projector can be used without the screen, which folds down to a small size.
This makes it one of the few ultra-short-throw HD projectors on the market with a function that lowers the barrier to entry – for those who want to use it with a larger screen or a wall. When used with a bigger surface, Arovia advises mounting the projector on a tripod.
Splay takes HDMI input and promises a four-hour battery life. Splay is now available on Indiegogo InDemand for $700, after a successful Kickstarter campaign; it’s supposed to be delivered to contributors in July 2022.
The AIPC has an ultra-short projector, much like the Splay. It also has a built-in PC that may project a multitouch display onto a surface via an integrated PC.
If the projected screen is destroyed by the lighting conditions, Bluetooth is also accessible, as well as USB-C and HDMI connections to connect to a display (perhaps another AIPC).
It doesn’t accept input from an external video source, but it’s easy to see how this sort of gadget might be used as another display via HDMI when in use as a second display.
It’s possible to broadcast 720p to a table or wall with the AIPC, which is made by Intel and has ten points of multitouch functionality. The early bird price for the 64 GB edition was $1,500, and it is scheduled to be available in February 2022.
The concept is not entirely new, with precedents dating back to other organizations and outside of crowdfunding platforms. Lenovo previously produced a few Yoga tablets with a pico projector built into the base; Motorola also offered a projector add-on for the Moto X design.
The closest alternative is Sony’s Xperia Touch, which includes multitouch input via an infrared camera in 2017, albeit only for Android. Amazon released a simplified version of the interactive projector concept with Glow, its video communication device geared towards children communicating remotely with relatives and friends.
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