A freshly published patent describes a way to embed projectors directly into the iPhone or iPad.
Your future iPhone or iPad could come with its own projector.
Granted to Apple on Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a patent called "Projected display shared workspaces" envisions a technology that would integrate small projectors into iOS devices and give users the ability to control their presentations with gestures.
The technology would rely on the built-in camera to detect the shadows and silhouettes created through gesturing at the projected areas. The projector technology also could work among multiple displays from multiple devices. Again using gestures, users could share and swap images from one projected display to another.
As the patent describes it:
In one embodiment, electronic devices each may include a projector that produces a projected display and a camera that detects gestures made with respect to the projected displays. The electronic devices may interpret gestures on the projected displays to identify image sharing commands for sharing images between the projected displays. The electronic devices may be connected through a communication link that allows the electronic devices to share image data for producing images on any of the projected displays included within the shared workspace.
There are gadgets on the market right now that can turn your iPhone into a mini projector. But Apple's integrated invention could take the technology a few steps further with its gesture-based image-sharing features.