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TI's pico-projector assembly promises to place mobile movie magic at your fingertips.
Downloading video onto a mobile phone could take on a whole new meaning with these pint-sized projectors.

Ask people why they don't watch video on their mobile phones and most will cite the small screen size as a major drawback. Texas Instruments hopes to solve the problem by letting mobile users project images from their wireless device onto a screen or a handy wall.

Making good on promises the chipmaker made earlier this year, TI used the CTIA Wireless 2007 show this week in Orlando to publicly demo its "pico-projector" prototype for the first time. A tiny version of its DLP image projection technology, the pico-projector is small enough to fit inside a cell phone. The device builds on TI's existing efforts in mobile projection technology, culminating in the 2006 introduction of DLP-based pocket projectors from Mitsubishi, Samsung, and Toshiba.

"Over the next few years, we envision a large opportunity for the convergence of projection technology and mobile devices, like cell phones," TI's Worldwide Strategic Marketing and Business Development Manager for DLP Front Projection Frank Moizio, said in a prepared statement.

Unlike existing DLP-based pocket projectors, which rely on an LED light source, CNET reports that the pico-projector device incorporates three lasers, along with a DLP chip and a power supply. Housed in a nonfunctioning cell phone for this demonstration, the projector itself measures about 1.5 inches in length. TI officials claim the device provides DVD-quality video, and the projection technology allows an effective screen size that far surpasses even the largest cell phone displays.

A variety of mobile devices could ultimately incorporate cell-sized projectors, including digital cameras and camcorders, as well as portable video players. TI has not announced availability or pricing for the pico-projector.





"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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