At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Samsung announced the first mobile phones with a projector built into it. The Samsung phones use a DLP imager from Texas Instruments. The high-end phones also feature an OLED touchscreen and a 5 megapixel camera. Initially, the I7410 and W7900 phones will only be available in Korea and Europe, but you can expect them to make their way to this country sooner or later.
This is significant because there have been pico projectors designed to be companions for mobile phones, but this builds it right into the handset so there’s only one piece to carry. And why would you want a projector? As we move from just audio to text to still photos to motion video including mobile television, users will want to share the screen’s contents with others. Three people peering at a 3″ LCD screen doesn’t work as well as when they can all look at a 30″ image projected on a handy wall or other surface. And I expect that this will lead to synergistic applications that we don’t even know that we want. While at lunch with a client, use the mobile phone to access a PowerPoint file on your computer back in the office so that you can make a presentation on the back of the menu. I predict that some sort of application like this will become as essential as Twitter or some other function that we didn’t know we couldn’t live without ten years ago.