This is a
from Texas Instruments. The idea is to have a device that can
project an image onto a screen, using a very small device such as a
PDA. Right now the usable image size is about 15 to 20
inches. They hope to scale it up to 40 inches.
I suspect that they envision this as a solution for small sales
presentations and the like. Personally, I’d like to see it
investigated for use in mainstream computing. Imagine the
typical usage of an office computer: word processing, email, maybe a
small spreadsheet. Why fire up a desktop machine that will
use 300+ watts, when all you really need is a PDA?
Right now, I am using a laptop computer that is on a
roll-top desk. The back of the recessed area of the desk is
in shadow. I could slap some white glossy contact paper in
there, and project an image on it. If the resolution were
sufficient, a 15 or 20 inch image would be sufficient for pretty much
anything. The contrast ratio probably would not be sufficient
for image manipulation, but most people don’t do that at the office.
It probably would even be sufficient for casual watching of those
little YouTube videos, although it probably would not be good for
watching bigger or lengthier videos. But in an office
setting, most people probably shouldn’t be doing that, anyway.
Does this matter? It matters a lot. To illustrate,
let me tell a story. In the 1980’s the University of Michigan
needed a new hospital. They had a monster building
designed and built. It was nice. However, from the
time that it was designed, to the time it was ready for operation,
computer became much more commonplace. The heat production
from these machines was not accounted for it the original design.
The first summer the hospital opened, they had a serious
problem keeping the place cool. As I recall, they even had
enormous blocks of ice shipped in to help cool it. Even now,
they sometimes have problems cooling the main data center in the
Computer manufacturers are making an effort to decrease power
requirements, but the marketing departments are not doing enough to
educate consumers and promote energy saving attributes of the products.