Personal Projection Devices

I was chatting with someone the other day about how I believe that in the future, instead of having massive plasma or LCD screens (since their environmentally unfriendly), we’ll instead have small hand sized devices that project an incredible sharp and vivid picture on surfaces around us at any size we desire.

So imagine a futuristic version of an iPod or iPhone with this technology built within it. If I’m meeting a client at a coffee shop, I can place it so the projection is cast across a small portion of the table top, so we can go over a design composite without the entire coffee shop seeing. Or if I’m at a friends place and he hasn’t seen a new movie release that I’ve already seen, I can place it so it projects it upon a large portion of the wall in his living room, thus creating a theatre-like performance (with the audio being transmitted to his stereo wirelessly).

Of course the next step is the ability for the device to not only project images like a computer or TV screen but also receive input via precise recognition of your hand movement. Initially it might be pretty basic but over time it could theoretically detect movement so precise that you could type on a projected keyboard with it. I mean imagine having your iTunes music library cast up on a wall in cover flow mode and being able to flow through your albums with your hands, almost like flicking through a virtual library of vinyl record albums.

Again this really isn’t that far fetched. For example, take a look at this video of a Hitachi device just recently shown at the CES. With another five to tens years of miniaturization, who knows what we’ll have. Oh and add in vocal and facial recognition and you’ve got something pretty cool.