Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Beaming with Promise: Soon-Arriving Mini-Projectors Can Display Cell Phone Video on the Nearest Flat Surface. That's Reason for Celebration, Not Dread

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Beaming with Promise: Soon-Arriving Mini-Projectors Can Display Cell Phone Video on the Nearest Flat Surface. That's Reason for Celebration, Not Dread

Article excerpt

A FAVORITE COLUMN OF MINE IS "Novelties" by Anne Eisenberg, which appears in the Sunday edition of The New York Times. Recently, she wrote about projectors that are shining down the road. These are very small units that "when plugged into cell phones and portable media players will let consumers beam video content from their handheld devices to the closest smooth surface." The projectors are supposed to create a display of up to 50 or 60 inches in a darkened place, and 7 to 20 inches when there is ambient light.

The first models, set to be released by the end of the year at a price around $300, are expected to be freestanding and connected to phones and other devices by standard cable. "Later," Eisenberg writes, "the projector models will be directly embedded in phones, as cameras are today." Revenue forecasts from market research firm Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info) are in the billions for these devices by 2012.

That isn't good news to Eisenberg, who foresees the new projectors as potential polluters once they're in the hands of cell phone users: "Soon you may have to watch [their] favorite television shows and YouTube videos as they project them onto nearby walls or commuter-train seatbacks."

Eisenberg's concerns may be legitimate in the outlying world, but in a controlled environment like education, I see something very different. I see the 81 percent of Americans between the ages of 5 and 24 who will own a cell phone by 2010, according to market analyst IDC (www.idc.com), using the device constructively in school. …

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