5 Best Projector Phones for Presenters (Great for Presentations)
Gone are the bulky projectors and their cumbersome wires. Away goes the hassle in making sure your presentation is compatible with the projector screen. And all this is thanks to mobile technology. After all, if we can do everything with our mobile phones, why not use it as projectors, right? Let’s take a look at 5 of the Best Projector Phones for Presenters.
Mobile phones with projectors is something that doesn’t come so often. But when it does, it’s a great companion for people such as teachers, influencers, motivational speakers, and business executives to have. It’s a highly convenient, powerful, and reliable tool for conducting presentations anywhere without the need to lug around bulky equipment.
1. Lenovo Smart Cast
The world’s first smartphone that comes with an integrated focus-free laser projector comes from Lenovo. This small phone comes built-in with everything you need for a sleek and smooth presentation display. It features a hardware button to start the Smart Cast. With this, you get to see every app that can work with the SmartCast so you can display almost any aspect of your business, information or presentation.
It also has a built-in infrared sensor to track every movement so that every user can make any surface into a nifty touchscreen.
2. Akyumen Holofone
Akyumen has a range of devices that it has recently unveiled. One is the Holofone Phablet, which is a 7-inch Windows 10 tablet with an Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor. It also has a robust 4GB RAM, 128G storage, and a 35-lumen projector. This last feature makes the Holofone Phablet a contender as one of the best projector phones in the market.
Much like the Holofone sans its cellular capabilities, the Falcon projector has a powerful range of features specifically inclined to mobile projection. It has the same features as the Holofone, only packaged in a bigger 10.1-inch screen and a 40-lumen projector.
Moto Z Force Droid
While these Motorola mobile phones don’t have built-in projectors, they do support Moto Mods. Moto Mods are powerful modules that transform your Moto Z and Moto Z Force Android devices into movie projectors, power banks, or a boombox. These projector phones come builtin with 16 pins on the back to be attached to the phone.
Moto Z is sleek and thin with aluminum and stainless steel body, while Moto Z Force has an added power due to its shatter-proof display.
Moto Z Force Droid
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Movi aims to reinvent the bulky smartphone projectors of the past with its lightweight, sleek, and thin design. This projector phone boasts of an embedded High Definition (HD) 720 DLP LED Pico projector. And with a powerful Qualcomm 821 Snapdragon chipset, it promises to be a performance powerhouse.
5. Samsung Galaxy Beam 2
While this was launched in 2014, Samsung has managed to update a lot of its features and the device is as powerful as ever. Equipped with a 4.66-inch touchscreen display, the phone runs on a 1.2 GHZ quad-core processor. It’s not bad for an entry-level smartphone with decent and reliable projection capabilities.
Overall, having projectors in mobile phones are useful not only in the office and school settings but can also be great for personal use, from personal presentations to movie nights.
What Happened to Phones With Built-in Projectors?
- Why Put a Projector In a Phone?
- Projector Phones Existed for a While
- Why Don’t We Have Projectors In Phones Today?
- Could Phones With Projectors Return?
Phones with built-in projectors were a great idea, but the technology of the time wasn’t yet ready. Today they might be much better, but other options have emerged that effectively make the melding of phones and projectors unnecessary.
Despite the trend towards larger phone screens, they’re still quite small in absolute terms. So why not stuff a projector into your phone and take a big screen everywhere? That’s exactly what happened in 2009, but the idea never caught on.
Why Put a Projector In a Phone?
Smartphones are powerful personal computers in their own right, but mobile screens literally limit how useful they can be for many tasks. Especially in the days when even high-end smartphones only offered resolutions like 720p, a quarter of the pixel count in a modern 1440p phone.
The idea that your smartphone could conjure a 50-inch image wherever you could find an open bit of wall is obviously appealing. You could watch movies on the hotel room ceiling or work on spreadsheets without bringing your laptop along.
It’s all made possible by “pico” projector technology, sometimes referred to as “pocket” or “handheld” projectors. Thanks to advancements in LED and laser technology, along with micromirror arrays, projectors can be squeezed into a phone-sized box. Since the projector and phone would share some electronics anyway, you can make a device that’s somewhat bigger than either the projector or phone by itself, but still very portable.
Related: How to Connect Your Android Device to a Projector
Projector Phones Existed for a While
Projector phones were more than just an experimental idea. Just like folding phones today, various companies actually brought these phones to market and sold them to the public.
Two key examples are 2009’s Samsung Show and LG eXpo. The Show produced a 10-lumen 480×320 image at up to 50-inches in size. The eXpo cast a 6-lumen 40-inch image at the same resolution.
Various companies would release phones with built in projectors over the following years, but the last major player was Samsung’s 2014 Galaxy Beam 2. This phone offered an 800×480 image at 20 lumens, but that was the end of the road for Samsung at least.
Why Don’t We Have Projectors In Phones Today?
Similar devices have been released more recently, but mainly from companies you likely haven’t heard of, and rarely for global availability. The 2018 Blackview Max 1, for example, was meant for the Chinese market, although it is available in some other regions as well. As a big-brand, mainstream phone design however, projector phones have effectively dropped off the map.
Why didn’t these phones become more popular? There are probably lots of reasons, but there are two obvious ones.
First, the technology is expensive and comes with numerous compromises to ergonomics, performance, battery life, and more. This means you really had to need this specific combination of technologies, in this form factor, to really justify buying such a phone.
This brings us to the second problem. Although these phones are undeniably cool, who are they for? The number of people who need a projector in a smartphone surely represents a tiny niche. So we don’t expect that Galaxy Beams were flying off the shelves.
It’s also worth mentioning that the actual projected images weren’t that great. You had to be in a pretty dark room, and blowing up such low resolutions resulted in a very visible pixel grid. It really was a technology a little ahead of its time.
Could Phones With Projectors Return?
But 2014 was a long time ago, and technology has really advanced quite a lot in the intervening years. So could we see a return of projector phones, except this time they’re really good? We saw this happen with VR technology, so why not with these phones?
There are a few reasons we don’t think it’s likely there will be any more serious attempts at making projector phones. For one thing, we now have devices like the Nreal Air, that are no bigger than a pair of sunglasses, but can project a 200-inch high resolution image in front of you that no one else can see.
For personal viewing, this is better than a pico projector in almost every way. Even without fancy AR glasses, anyone can pop a Meta Quest 2 into their bag if they really want a portable massive screen for personal use.
If you want to do a presentation, most modern smart TVs let you cast content to them with a few taps of a button, and actual portable projectors are cheaper and better than ever. Taking some of the smaller models with you for use with your phone is only slightly less convenient than a convergent device.
So while these projector phones are still sci-fi cool today, the actual tangent of smartphone development is probably veering in a different direction.
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Modern smartphones are equipped with large touch screens, impressive cameras and high-tech features such as 3D face recognition. Previously, phones were mainly used for calls, but now they are used for everything: listening to music, browsing the web, playing games, and watching cat videos on YouTube.
If you had said, for example, back in 1999 what these devices would be capable of in 20+ years, you would have been called crazy. Back then, no one could have predicted the impact phones would have on our lives. It would sound like science fiction.
And it makes you wonder: what might the smartphones of the future look like? What features that seem like science fiction today will these devices have in 20, 30 or even 50 years? Here are just a few ideas of varying degrees of realism and complexity of implementation.
Previously, the main way to interact with the phone was the physical keyboard. Over time, it was replaced by the touch screens we use today. Thanks to voice assistants, we can now interact with our devices simply by using our voice.
As the next step in this evolution, the use of the power of thought suggests itself. This technology will allow you to mentally complete any task that you are currently solving with a tap or voice. You can open the app of your choice, play a particular video on some futuristic version of YouTube, and even edit images with your mind. You can also send text, control screen brightness, or create a movie from the videos you’ve taken.
Such smartphones could be used much faster. You no longer have to search for an app to open it or drag your finger to the top of the screen to touch it. You could complete any task in the blink of an eye.
We are still far from having something like this become a reality, but scientists are making progress in this area. Back in 2017, Building 8, a division of Facebook (recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation), was developing a technology that allows people to type with the effort of thought. The predicted typing speed was 100 words per minute, which is about five times faster than typing on our current smartphones. However, at the end of 2018, Building 8 was disbanded and key employees moved to other companies. However, it is encouraging that someone is already trying to develop a technology that could play a big role in our lives sometime in the future.
MIT scientists are also working on a similar project. The device, called AlterEgo, allows users to communicate with machines using only their thoughts. The project has been in development for some time now and it will take time before it hits the market, if it ever does.
Although the idea of using a smartphone through mere thought seems crazy now, decades from now it may become a reality. Let’s cross our fingers!
Let’s face it, the battery life of the average smartphone is abysmal. Even if you have a flagship smartphone like the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its massive 5,000mAh battery, you can still expect two days of use on average at best. Once the device is dead, you need to either plug it in or place it on a charging pad if your phone supports wireless technology.
In the future, things may be very different. Last year, Motorola introduced its over-the-air charging solution, which can charge smartphones up to one meter away from the charger. Xiaomi showed a similar solution called Mi Air Charge, which has a range of several meters. The idea is good, but why not take it one step further?
Imagine a future where chargers become much more powerful and can charge devices over the air over long distances. Transmitters could be placed in different countries, like modern cell towers, so that they constantly charge your smartphone from a distance, ensuring that it never runs out of power. These chargers will be so powerful that they will keep your smartphone battery at 100 percent all the time. You’ll never have to worry about battery life again, and you’ll be rid of all those pesky charging cables forever.
This technology will not be limited to smartphones, it will be possible to constantly charge all your gadgets, from laptops to smartwatches. This way it will even be possible to charge even electric cars, which we will probably all drive in the future.
The next big breakthrough in screen technology in the near future may be with flexible screens. Several foldable smartphones have already appeared, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3 and others. But as the next technological breakthrough in this area – decades from now – stretchable phones can be imagined. Instead of flipping the phone around to increase screen real estate, as with the Z Fold 3, for example, you stretch it to increase its size, like a rubber band. All you have to do is pull the phone on the two corners diagonally.
This type of screen will allow you to quickly increase the size of the device when watching a video and make it smaller to fit in your pocket. True, for this to work, the vast majority of components must be expandable, not just the screen.
There will obviously be some limit to how much you can stretch the device. For example, if this limit were 50 percent of the size, that would mean you could turn a 6-inch display into a 9-inch one.
Work is underway on expandable screen technology, but fully expandable phones are still a long way off. Samsung announced a prototype stretchable screen back in 2017 that can be bent up to 12mm without causing harm, as shown in the image above. This screen simply returns to its original flat form, like a trampoline – so it’s not exactly what was described above as an idea for the future.
Last year, the company showed off a new version of this screen that can stretch and reshape to display more immersive content.
And engineers at Michigan State University have also developed the first expandable chip and see expandable electronics as the future.
“Our work could soon lead to screens that can be easily stretched to large sizes and can also be used in wearable electronics and soft robotics,” says Chuan Wang, associate professor at Michigan State University.
In addition to making phones bigger or smaller, expandable displays will also add a new quality to games and videos. Imagine playing a first-person shooter and having the display curve when someone shoots at you, the experience can become much more immersive.
Color changing smartphones
Choosing a color when buying a smartphone can be difficult. Black, silver and white are more classic but also boring. Red, green, or purple hues stand out, but can give devices a toy, less solid look. With the smartphones of the future, you may no longer have to choose.
Imagine a phone with a transparent glass-like back that completely absorbs light. The device will have one or more LEDs inside, the color of which can be changed in the phone settings (or maybe with the power of thought!). When you choose orange, the entire back cover completely absorbs that color’s light and looks exactly the same as if it had been painted.
This technology will allow you to switch between different colors as often as you like. This feature can also be set to automatically change colors on a daily basis. With several LEDs inside, arranged in a certain way, you can also create gradient colors.
This new glass-like material, like the screen, will be virtually unbreakable, so you won’t have to worry about it cracking if you drop your phone. Unlike current glass smartphones, it will also be fingerprint resistant.
Work in this direction is already underway, although it is still a long way before it becomes a reality. In 2020, OnePlus announced the 8T concept phone with a color-changing back. OnePlus calls the technology Electronic Color, Material, and Finish (Electronic Color, Material, and Finish), or ECMF for short, it allows the back of the phone to change depending on the circumstances. Below you can see how it works.
Vivo also showed its color-changing phone last year, and Infinix introduced a color-changing leatherette back panel for mobile phones. Even BMW showed off its iX M60 at CES 2022, which has an electrophoretic “paint” that changes colors in the blink of an eye.
OLED and E-ink in one device
OLED screens are great for watching videos and playing games, but not for reading, for which e-ink screens like in e-readers are a much better option. Eyes do not strain after several hours of reading, and you can also read outdoors, in direct sunlight. Sure, features like night mode filter out blue light and can even turn the screen to monochrome, but OLED displays still can’t come close to e-ink technology in terms of readability.
Imagine that smartphones of the future could combine OLED and e-ink technologies, which would probably kill e-readers as a device class. With a simple tap in the settings, you can turn your OLED display into an e-ink screen for reading books, articles, and various documents without all that light hitting your eyes. The e-ink screen is also much less power hungry, which can translate into longer battery life.
Unfortunately, the implementation of this idea is currently impossible. Apple had a similar idea back in 2011 when it applied for a patent for an e-ink/OLED hybrid display, but the technology never made it to market. Phones with both display technologies are available today, but not combined into one. And although it seems impossible now, such a symbiosis may become a reality in the distant future – after all, crazier things have happened.
Will smartphones remain smartphones?
Smartphones of the future may not be smartphones at all. These devices can get a completely new form factor that will allow us to perform the same tasks as today’s smartphones, and even more.
Imagine a future where smartphones in their current form are replaced by a device that looks like ordinary glasses. Yes, we’ve already seen glasses like Google Glass fail miserably. But the product in question here goes beyond the ambitions of Google’s pet project, Google Glass on steroids. This version of the futuristic glasses allows you to make and receive calls. When someone calls you, you see their name/picture in front of your eyes. When you answer a call, you can hear the caller immediately without having to use headphones. The glasses will use bone conduction technology or something even more high-tech. They will also be able to play music, offer turn-by-turn navigation, and read emails and texts you’ve received. All these things can also be displayed in front of your eyes with the help of AR technology.
Of course, the glasses must have a built-in camera. When you want to take a picture, a frame will appear in front of your eyes showing what exactly the camera will capture. Say something like “click” in your head and the shot is taken.
With AR technology, the glasses will project a screen/image in front of you, allowing you to watch your favorite shows, play games, view camera images and browse the web. It turns out that you do not have to buy a separate TV, which will save money, as well as space in your home.
With these glasses you will also be able to see 3D holograms of people. Just imagine, you are sitting in your living room and watching Marilyn Monroe sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to you. Or porn. The experience can be extremely exciting.
Many companies are already working in the field of smart and connected glasses. In addition to Google, a few years ago, Intel demonstrated smart glasses that project a stream of information (direction hints, notifications…) in front of you. But, unfortunately, she has already abandoned this technology. North, which is backed by Amazon, was working on a similar idea in their Focals glasses. However, Google later bought the company and closed the project. In addition, there are mixed reality headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens that display holograms in front of your eyes, although they are currently aimed at business users.
The glasses can thus combine the power of a smartphone with holograms and other features offered by today’s smart glasses. It’s an interesting idea, but let’s keep imagining and take it one step further. Imagine replacing those futuristic glasses with a small computer placed inside your brain. You will be able to receive calls by hearing the voice of the caller in your head just like your own thoughts. In the same way, you will listen to music, hear GPS prompts, and more.
In addition, you can take pictures, watch videos, play games and see holograms. But instead of the glasses projecting images in front of you, the computer in your head will project them through your eyes. Essentially, this computer will be able to do the same things as the smart glasses of the future, but it will be less intrusive. Maybe. It will have to be placed in your brain, but at least it won’t have to be turned on and off every five minutes. And also it will be impossible to lose or steal it.
Elon Musk founded the Neuralink company in 2017, which works in the field of “neural lace” technology. The idea is to implant tiny electrodes into the human brain so that it can communicate directly with machines. This technology will also allow you to upload and download your thoughts. If you imagine that this is possible in the future, you can imagine anything at all. However, the current development of the technology is still far from our wildest imagination, although Neuralink is said to be preparing for its first human trials by the end of 2022.
Imagine a future where everything is connected and our smartphones – or whatever comes after them – can interact seamlessly with almost any device. As long as you have such a smartphone, your front door will open when you approach, you can unlock the car and start the engine, and even go through automatic control in the subway or at the airport if the ticket is stored in your smartphone. Looks great – at least until your smartphone is stolen.
These are just a few thoughts on possible features in the smartphones of the future. Share yours in the comments!
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