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  • The Man Said Ta-Da: MacBook With Built-in Projector


    Another Apple patent has been revealed, and this time it's for a pico projector built in to the hinge of a MacBook that self-corrects for movement and distortion. Patently Apple has done their usual excellent job of translating it from "patent-ease" into readable English, and the invention actually looks pretty interesting. While Apple often takes out patents for the same reason people squat domain names (namely, so that they can use it first, or charge anyone who does use it a lot of money, or both), the company is known to be working on pico projectors, at least as a R&D. And while pico projector technology is in its ugly, clumsy infancy, Apple is as good a candidate as any to be the first one to actually do it right.

    The patent ("Portable Computing System With a Secondary Image Output") describes a projector that is "integrated" with some kind of a "portable computing system" - which may be a laptop or some other kind of a device - that also has one or two cameras built into it. Rather than facing the user, as a webcam would, the extra camera(s) would face in the direction of the image that the projector displays on a wall. The purpose of the camera would be to adjust the image for distortion, whether caused by the angle of the projector or by the ambient light in the room. Another part of the invention talks about using accelerometers - which are not generally present on laptops but are on iPhones and iPads - to correct for movement, so you could just hold the thing up and it would project a relatively stable image.

    Pico projectors are plagued with lots of problems, from poor color quality in the affordable LED-powered ones to high cost and image speckle in the higher-end laser scanning projectors. Obviously, we might not see an actual product like this for years, if ever. But given that Apple's really interested in moving more and more into portable media devices rather than just computers, you can expect that someday, some way, they'll have something like this with an Apple logo on it.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Man Said Ta-Da: MacBook With Built-in Projector started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. cookbenj's Avatar
      cookbenj -
      sorry but i find that piccy looking rather fake
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      It'd be really nice if this could become reality someday and not just fiction...next we'd soon start beaming holographic 3D images out of our phones and iPads...
    1. madczech's Avatar
      madczech -
      Quote Originally Posted by Disneyricky View Post
      Just take this back a sec... Now it's gonna be a mac that charges from the sun, and can project a movie?
      The only thing that they are going to charge with the sun is the glowing apple logo on the back of the display. Nothing else... would be merlly impossible to charge a whole macbook pro with sun light
    1. RKirk7741's Avatar
      RKirk7741 -
      Took me a while to get the joke....
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      That photo is ridiculous; as if anyone is going to stand and hold their laptop to project onto a screen.
    1. ikesmasher's Avatar
      ikesmasher -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Knight View Post
      im buying picoprojectors.com im sure that if it gets big apple will buy it from me. I will say no then they will pay me boat loads of cash and I will be rich!!!
      that is actaully a good idea that has a small chance (very small chance) of actually working. xD

      Quote Originally Posted by madczech View Post
      The only thing that they are going to charge with the sun is the glowing apple logo on the back of the display. Nothing else... would be merlly impossible to charge a whole macbook pro with sun light
      oh i beg to differ if they use somethin like this
      Glitter-Sized Solar Panels Use 100 Times Less Silicon to Generate Electricity | Green Living Ideas
    1. madczech's Avatar
      madczech -
      That would be cool! But I guess you still would have to leave your laptop in the sun! And we all know you're probably gona burn your screen! A few years ago I left my cam in the car and guess what happened? :-D
    1. vampr's Avatar
      vampr -
      It's right around the corner...

    1. ESG23's Avatar
      ESG23 -
      that'd be really cool if apple could pull that off and make it look good
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      I bet the quality in these small projectors is pretty bad. Even the AT&T commercial has a disclaimer saying "images simulated and enhanced." I don't think we're technologically advanced (yet) for these pico projectors to match normal-sized ones. Like cameras, eventually quality will become better while more compact though.
    1. iskiextreme's Avatar
      iskiextreme -
      next years patent..

      Quote Originally Posted by vampr View Post
      It's right around the corner...

      next years patent...
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      I think it has the potential of being great! It would be cool to be able to watch a movie wherever on a bigger scale with others. Obviously they'd need to make improvements, but still, could be cool!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      This technology is actually in some cell phones today made by Samsung (and perhaps other manufacturers). I think it is a little clip on thing that attaches to the back of the phone, but same difference. While it is cool, in its current state (or what I saw of it) it is almost useless IMO. The screen stays small, ten inches or so I would say (I assume due to the limitations of such a small package) and is completely trumped by even ten year old projectors. It works in a pinch, but anywhere you go where you might be needing a projector (lecture halls, office meetings, etc.), you probably already have one that will perform ten times better. Unless there are vast advancements in these pico projectors, I doubt they will be worth much more than bragging rights to most people.
    1. Teoyaomqui's Avatar
      Teoyaomqui -
      Quote Originally Posted by iskiextreme View Post
      next years patent..



      next years patent...

      G. Lucas has that patent.