On Tuesday, November 25, the TFOT team was invited to take part in a launch of some of Optoma’s new projectors. The well orchestrated event organized by the Israeli company SG (Optoma importer in Israel) included unveiling some of the company’s most recent business and home cinema projectors but the main event, as far as we were concerned, was the unveiling of the Optoma PK-101 PICO pocket projector. The tiny device, weighing only 115 grams (4 ounces) and measuring 100x50x15mm (4x2x0.6 inches), was demonstrated by Optoma’s mid-east regional manger Adam Dent.
The pocket projector boosts an internal battery, which lasts a decent two hours according to Optoma. The battery recharges using a USB cable which is the only connection the projector has, apart from the 1/8-inch minijack used for projecting from a mobile device or digital camera. The commercial product will include a composite audio/video cable for projecting from a TV or composite-equipped PC. In the hands of Adam Dent the pocket projector was connected to an iPod nano using (a slightly cumbersome) composite connection which was used to project several videos as well as jpeg images which “simulated” a PowerPoint presentation. After the event we asked Adam about the composite connection for the iPod and apparently Optoma already has a much smaller and more elegant connection that will help keep things much simpler.
The PK-101 PICO projector minimum (usable) projecting distance is about half a meter (1.5 feet) and much beyond two meters (6.5 feet) will result in a very dim image, even in a darkened environment. This leaves the PICO as a usable device for relatively short distances – good for projecting content to a small number of people located up to a few meters from the projected image, in a darkened room.
In September TFOT covered Aiptek’s pocket projector, which also uses a LED lamp but boosts a higher 640×480 resolution and recently started selling in Australia. TFOT also covered one of the first prototype pocket projectors ever unveiled, developed by the Israeli company Explay in 2007, which uses a combination of laser and LED technology.