The Corpus Callosum

Pico Projector

i-01b0c9ed4d00b661d02726cef56cc62c-pico-projector.jpgThis is a pico-projector
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.


  1. #1 stumpy
    October 31, 2007

    The U of M Hospital also used little wheeled robots to make deliveries down on the first sub-basement. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride on them, because they would stop moving whenever I tried.

  2. #2 Lassi Hippeläinen
    October 31, 2007

    Add this to an all-in-one keyboard, and you have a full computer.

    (I’m not associated with that site, but I’m willing to point them out for the simple reason that they sell their machines also without Windows.)

  3. #3 david1947
    November 1, 2007

    Remember Zardoz? The central computer interfaces were a ring that projected the display on any handy surface nearby. In 1974. Yes, fictional, but like the trek data cards that became 3 1/2″ floppies, or trek communicators that became cell phones, or the roll-out screens from (insert name of TV scifi show here ? anybody remember it?) that are now being shown in Germany, monochrome at first but color to come – it certainly seems that scifi visual dreams do lead to realities when the youngster grow up.

    So what is in our movies now that we can look forward to? Ideas anyone?

    PS: I want one…

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