Yesterday I wrote about how important it is to have a backup plan for when something inevitably goes wrong. While you should always be prepared to deliver your talk without slides in case your projector dies, it’s even better if you can have a spare at your disposal. That used to mean carrying around an expensive piece of equipment the size of a bulky suitcase. It just wasn’t practical.
But a whole new class of pico projectors has changed all of that. This is one of the technologies (along with those remote controlled helicopters) that has made the most incredbile advances in the last few years. For a couple hundred dollars you can buy a tiny projector that weighs a pound or two and can save your day in an emergency. They’re not exactly bright– you do need a dark room to make them work well– but they’re getting better all the time. The 3M MPro160 (terrible name) that I link to below is twice as bright as the previous model.
Some people are predicting that these will be common in high-end cellphones within a few years so people can share their vacation pictures and movies of their kids. Won’t that be great….
In the meantime, it’s nice to know you have your own projector in your computer bag if you need it. And if an emergency never comes up, one of these does a great job of turning the ceiling of a hotel room into a really big screen to replace your TV at home.