Smartphone displays are not great for sharing, at least with a large group of people. So the combination of phones and miniature projectors was an inevitable pairing, I just wish the results weren't so clunky.
Don't get me wrong; when you compare Brookstone's new iPhone Pocket Projector case with the projector mounted to the ceiling of a conference room, it's downright minuscule. But when it's piggybacking on a device designed to slip in your pocket, it's not so tiny anymore. The case was developed by Texas Instruments, and uses their LED DLP pico projector technology to muster up 15 lumens of brightness and a resolution of just 640x360. It's claimed to produce an image about 50 inches in size, but as usual, that's assuming you're using it in a really dark room.
The iPhone 4 easily slides into the $US230 case and the projector works with any app that supports video-out through the dock connector. And because even tiny projectors are power hungry, it includes a built-in 2100mAh rechargeable battery which will keep it running for a couple of hours, or boost the phone's battery life. Now I have no doubts that one day these projectors will be small enough to be easily integrated into existing phone designs, but until that time comes, the bulky tradeoffs just don't seem worth their limited benefits. [Brookstone via Macworld]