Patently Apple is one of my favorite sites to watch for news on Cupertino’s latest and greatest, and its latest post is no obsession. The site has dug up patents that indicate the company has worked on the idea of integrating pico projectors into iOS devices, as well as developing some type of projector accessory for Mac devices.
What’s a pico projector? The devices have become popular as a low-cost way to project an image anywhere. I’m seeing more and more of them at tech shows lately, although typically as a standalone device and not integrated like we’re seeing here.
There’s definitely a cool factor: as well as offering the projection capabilities you’d expect, Apple’s patent involves making the projected images gesture enabled. Say you have two iOS projecting devices side by side, for example. You could transfer the projected content from one device to the next by swiping. Pretty cool, eh?
From the detail of the patents, Patently Apple says it has reason to believe the company’s work in the technology is pretty far along. Of course, as with all intriguing patents, it’s important to remember that it’s also possible that this one will never lead to commercial products at all. You never know.
While this seemingly has an obvious business application, I wonder how it could be used for the consumer? There could be some pretty darn cool applications for this, especially in gaming. Think of it as a mini-Kinect. It could add a whole new level to the iOS platform, and do something no one else is currently even close to copying to my knowledge.
There’s much more to this patent, including unified displays, shared workspaces, and the like. I’d give it a read. It’s certainly something that could eventually be a big deal for future iOS devices.