Teeny, Tiny, Itty-Bitty Home Theater Projector
If you guessed that it's the latest, smallest, most portable DLP projector from Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division, you're right. (But you're probably not as fun as the people who were thinking of something else...)
The new PocketProjector not only weighs just under a pound, it's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand or in a coat pocket.* Although it comes with an AC power cord (and a protective slip cover), an optional battery base is also available - making it a perfect projector to take with you on one of those primitive "see the wilderness" camping hikes through the Adirondacks. Or, if you're more of the sedentary type, you can use it to watch whichever game you've got the most money riding on with a few friends and a couple of beers in the backyard.
Built around one of the latest DLP chips from Texas Instruments, the PocketProjector uses three Lumileds LEDs (one each of red, green, and blue) to produce an SVGA (800 x 600 pixels) Enhanced Definition image. The LED light source offers multiple benefits including instant on/off, negligible heat output, and a 20,000 hour rated lifespan. With an average usage of 5 hours per day, the LEDs are expected to last over 10 years.
You certainly won't be watching 100-inch diagonal images with the PocketProjector, but its extremely short throw distance (the required distance from projector to screen for a given image size) lets the projector create a 20-inch diagonal picture from just over one foot away. A 40-inch screen image requires less than three feet of throw distance.
James Chan, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Director of Projector Product Marketing, explained that the PocketProjector was designed for use with a variety of fun sources including digital cameras, hand-held game devices, and portable DVD players (in addition to the boring laptop computer running yet another uninspired business presentation). "[It's] the newest display tool or toy of choice," Chan (no relation to Jackie) said. "This projector can go where no projector has gone before." (Despite the fact that it does emit light, it's doubtful that the PocketProjector can achieve light speed - meaning that although it can go "where no projector has gone before", it won't get there any faster.)
For those corporate types looking for a reason to write off the PocketProjector as a business expense (even though we all know they're going to take it home and use it in their kids' play room), Mitsubishi plans to offer Convenience Packs (starting at $199) that will contain application-specific cables, accessories, and a small screen. A universal car DC adapter will also be available, making it possible to watch your favorite movie on the back of a semi while driving down the highway at night. (As long as you're a professional stunt driver on a closed course. Mitsubishi assumes no liability for stupidity of the user.)
The PocketProjector will be available in July 2005 for a suggested retail of $699. The optional battery pack will carry a suggested retail price of $149. Optional batteries and convenience packs are expected to be available upon release of the projector.
*At press time, Mitsubishi had not indicated whether they were referring to a pocket in a classic winter coat - like a belted trench coat or maybe a ski jacket - or if they were thinking of something more like a light anarak or spring windbreaker. Actual size of coat pocket may vary. See your local clothing retailer for details.