Aiptek has just announced their new “Mobile Cinema” line of pico projectors for pairing with mobile devices at their launch event in London. These new projectors use DLP technology, have a brightness of 35 lumens (50 ANSI lumens while plugged in), 640×480 VGA pixel resolution, and are able to project onto a 60” screen.
The i50S and the i50D can be paired with the iPhone 4/4S and the iPad, respectively. They both offer a rechargeable battery that lasts 2 hours on a single charge. In addition to its function as a projector, it can also be used as a battery charger for your iPhone. On a full charge, the projector sleeve can replenish your iPhone’s battery to roughly 80%, which will definitely come in handy during those emergency situations.
Aiptek also went a step further with their iDevice integration and developed a free app called “Aiptek Viewer” that provides video-out capabilities for your Safari app. This will allow you to browse websites using your projector for a comfortable web surfing experience.
The third projector offered in the “Mobile Cinema” line is the A50P, which can be paired with Android phones and tablets. It has the same specifications as its Apple counterpart, including the ability to charge your device. As Android devices generally offer video-out capabilities from the factory, no additional app would be needed to mirror the screen.
This new line of mobile projectors will be great for those that use their phones or tablets as their primary source of entertainment. Whether it’s streaming movies on Netflix or sprinting through Temple Run, the benefit of a larger display is unparalleled.
These products clearly signify that projector technology is advancing in the right direction, but there’s still definitely a ways to go before the technology becomes sufficient to satisfy people’s expectations. Looking at the specs for these devices, 35 lumens is certainly excellent for a device as small and practical as this, but it’s still only 35 lumens. Lights must be dimmed way down for the picture to be clear, and no one really wants to sit in a dark room every time they want to play a game or stream a movie.
I’m definitely excited about the possibilities that can be obtained down the road with projection technologies; but as for now, I would have to stick with standalone devices that offer a brighter picture for everyday use. Although in a larger form factor, pico projectors such as the AAXA P4 and the Optoma PK320 are still small enough to be thrown into a bag or purse for travel. These units have brightness ratings of 80 and 100 lumens, respectively, which provides much better picture clarity in non-optimal light settings. I’ll just have to remember to keep my phone charged.