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Curtain rises for handheld 'Pico Projector'

Optoma teams with Texas Instruments to launch device that will project from phones and media players.


We'd almost forgotten about the "Pico Projector" as more than a year had passed since we'd heard of it making any significant progress. But when our colleagues at Crave Asia spotted a working demo using the technology earlier this month, we were reminded of its promises to project photos and video from mobile phones and other portable devices.

Now Taiwan-based projector company Optoma is partnering with Texas Instruments to bring its own version of the micro-projector to market. Its technology requires a separate companion product, rather than projecting directly from a phone or media player, but it's a start: The "micro-portable" device weighs only 4 ounces.

The Optoma Pico Projector, which uses TI's DLP chipset and LED technology, casts images that are up to 100 times larger than the originals displayed on a handheld device, whether it be a media player, smartphone, or digital camera. It's scheduled to launch in Europe and Asia this year, with plans to arrive on the U.S. market in 2009.