Palm-Size Pico Projects a Big Image

Optoma's tiny projector is for sharing photos, videos, and the dreaded PowerPoint presentation.

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The Pico Projector weighs 4 ounces.
The Pico Projector weighs 4 ounces.

Here's a gadget with a lot of potential: a projector smaller than most smart phones. Optoma said it will introduce its Pico Projector later this year in Europe and Asia, with plans to take it worldwide next year.

I remember seeing a tiny projector demonstrated about 18 months ago at a booth by Texas Instruments engineers, whose technology is at the core of the Pico. The image was impressive for such a small projector. Not HD quality but plenty sharp and vivid, at least in a darkened room.

Hook it up to your cellphone, iPod, or digital camera—or, if you must, to a laptop for a graphical presentation. The device will project a larger-than-life image on a nearby wall. No word yet on pricing.

Of course, what we all want is a projector built into our phone or media player, as illustrated at the site of a company called Microvision. Maybe it's not too far behind.