July 29, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger
Projector technology has shown it can be squished into smaller footprints these days, hence the increasingly popular “pico” projector. Touchscreens have grown to where some are the size of mini TVs—17-inchers—with similar functionality.
How about bridging the gap and marrying the two types of products?
That’s what British-based company Light Blue Optics (LBO) is working on, and plans to help introduce to the market, probably in products from other companies next year—with LBO serving as the OEM.
The company recently raised $15 million in funding for product development of its laser-based pico projection system supplies in the automotive, industrial and consumer electronics markets.
But a hook to LBO’s holographic laser projection technology is that it can be touch-enabled. So any flat surface a pico projector throws an image on can potentially act as a touchscreen. Pico projectors aren’t about providing the best high-def movies for a theater—they’re for more common applications, including business work.
Still, we’re pretty excited to think about these little projector wonders turning our kitchen tables and bedroom walls into touchscreens, especially if they’re linked into computer networks or automation systems—hey, as long as we’re talking future applications, it could happen.
After all, if we can get fancy 40-inch coffee-table touchscreens from companies like Savant, why not hop on a pico projector touchscreen to add a some spice to your home A/V and controls?
Picoprojector-info.com says expect actual projector products to come out most likely in 2010, since the touch-enabled module will be released to manufacturers in Q4 of 2009. Sweet.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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