Thursday, September 18, 2008

3M releases pocket projector reports: [edited]

The pocket-size projector has been the Holy Grail of gadgets for many years, and now we’ve got it. Images were discernable up to about 11 inches across, even under our bright fluorescent office lights. But they were definitely faded. And some movie scenes were downright indecipherable. The same went for photos.

In a dark room, it could project a big enough image to be the ultimate cheap-o home theater. The projector will sell for $359. It doesn’t have a speaker, so you’ll have to get that separately.

A VGA input lets you plug in a laptop; and the composite video jack will take output from a digital camera, PSP, iPod, iPhone, or most any handheld device (though video-out is still pretty rare on cellphones). A thumbwheel on the front allows you to focus.

The standalone projector goes on sale September 30. In a year or so, 3M hopes to squeeze it into cellphones.

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