Apple is working on pico-projector for your iPhone, iPad and Mac

Apple is exploring possibilities for making pico projectors and integral part of iOS devices.

And, unlike its many smartphone competitors, Apple isn’t focused only on technical gimmicks. They are trying to find actual use cases that could make pico projectors an indispensable part of iOS ecosystem.

In a patent application “Projected display shared workspaces” Apple describes pico projector accessory that can be connected to your iPhone or Macbook, or even integrated into an iPad. The projector also comes with a camera, and can read multi-touch gestures performed on a projected images.

The business environment/presentations are the most obvious place to use the projectors. By having several projector enabled iOS devices beaming  their output to the screen on the wall, and coupling them via NFC or Bluetooth, users can create several shared workspaces. With a flick of the finger, they can transfer presentation files, graphics and images between devices, or create a single unified display from several projected screens.

Pico projectors have been promised to become an integral part of our mobile devices for a while now. We even have some projector smartphones like LG Expo and Samsung Beam, already in the market. And LG also has some similar camera/projector integration ideas to those above. But nobody has found a compelling use case for them yet and projector phones remain a niche curiosity for geeky show-offs.

So don’t hold your breath for finding this in your iPhone 5 or iPad 3, pico projecting technology does not seem to be up to Apple’s standards yet. But not so long ago camera in a phone was also a niche curiosity, taking really crappy pictures of your geek friends. And look where we are now.

Give it a few years, and Apple may figure out how to make pocket projectors work.


Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • mahesh

    Take a look at that has a laser based pico projector that is a probably candidate for this kind of applications

  • Glass

    I second the microvision comment.  They have developed a great product with INFINITE FOCUS which puts the competitiors to shame.   Microvision Show WX +.    

  • Maventwo

    Pico projector tech are now in many shapes.
    Microvision laser scanner tech is one,brittish LightBlueoptics uses also laserdiodes,Displaytech uses FLCD=Ferro-LCD on cristalline silicon,DLP micro from Texas Instruments as Samsung use in some
    pico projector.