Apple recently caused a commotion in the tech world (I know, shocking) by registering ApplePico.com. MacRumors pointed out the Cupertino company on the domain’s WHOIS listing earlier this month, which naturally raised some eyebrows.
Needless to say, speculation that Apple is working on pico projectors has started to heat up again. Previous patent applications from the iPhone-makers have pointed to projector research, but none of them have been more revealing than this one…
PatentlyApple uncovered a US Patent & Trademark filing from Steve Jobs’ team that details the company’s plans to integrate pico-like projectors into future iOS devices. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a pico projector is a tiny lens that can project media content onto a large surface.
The patent explains that consumers store tons of media on their devices. But because these products struggle to maintain portability, their screen sizes are typically too small for them to adequately share the content with other people.
Apple’s solution is to install tiny projectors into their products that will allow users to share video and images on a large, flat surface. Although this has been attempted in the past, Apple has come up with a potential game-changer: Shared Project Workspace.
This allows multiple pico projectors to interact with each other for different purposes. Users can drag content from one projected workspace to another, or sync the projected images together to create a unified display. You can even control the system with swipes and gestures.
Patents don’t always make it to consumer products, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually saw these tiny projectors turn up in iDevices. Imagine playing a game projected onto a 40″ surface, using your iPhone as a controller, or combining iPhones with a friend to watch a movie in widescreen.
What do you think? Would this be a killer feature, or a certain flop?