[CEATEC 2012] Panasonic demoed a laser projector at CEATEC 2012 that is the world’s thinnest at 7.5mm thick. For comparison, an iPhone 5–the world’s “thinnest” smartphone–is 7.6 mm thick. Pocket-sized projectors aren’t a huge market at the moment, but when they get small enough and cheap enough to fit into standard smartphones, then their usage will explode. Panasonic’s projector is an important step on the way to having a projector in your pocket.
Panasonic claims that the laser projector outputs at 100 lumens, which is just under the recommended brightness for daytime use. The version demoed has a resolution of 800×480, which isn’t high-definition by any standards, but should be more than good enough to show somebody photos or a Powerpoint. The Galaxy Beam, when released earlier this year, was interesting: the first actual consumer smartphone with a projector installed, its fatal flaw was simply the quality of the projections. It only achieved a 640×360 resolution and managed a mere 15 lumens of brightness, which meant in order to use its signature feature, you’d need to be in a very dark room, and even then, you’d be getting a low-resolution image. Not to mention the bulgy industrial design, which certainly scared buyers off. But that projector was actually in a phone, and this Panasonic projector is not. Yet. I’d love to see a handset maker try.
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