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TI's Movie Projector In A Cellphone

Sooner than later, Dallas-based Texas Instruments says your smart phone will also be a large-screen digital projector. It's hoping the experience will be like putting a movie theater into the palm of your hand.

Texas Instruments says it took years before every smart phone boasted quality digital still and video cameras. T-I’s Kent Novak says one of these days, those same phones will feature a computer chip that let’s the phone project a 50 or 60-inch digital image. In a busy room showing of company wares, he displays the picture.

Novak, Senior Vice President, DLP, Texas Instruments: Clearly, that’s the dream. That’s what we would love to see is for it to become that prevalent. If you look at how long that took in smart phones, it took relatively a decade. But hopefully with technology adoption we can move faster than that.

Novak, Vice President of DLP, or digital light processing - says with pricey iPhone add-ons costing between $200 to $250, consumers can project and display images now. But in time, the price will drop, and the projector may just be included with any phone. So a family going on vacation, hoping to avoid expensive movie charges in a room, can just download a film to the phone.

Novak: ...and being able to shine it up right on the motel room ceiling, or in the hotel room on the wall, and it’s similar to having a 60-inch TV there or even larger.

DLP Pico Info Website

Or Novak says download a game for the kids and hand the phone to them in the back seat of the car. They can project the game’s image on the seat for a larger picture than what’s on the phone itself. Novak explains the match-book sized chip now used in 85 percent of the world’s digital movie houses has been downsized. So in cell phones, the chip’s as small as a raisin. Novak’s phone has one and that phone goes with him on business.

Novak: I’m an example of a road warrior. I do a lot of customer meetings. There are lots of times we get inside a situation in a small conference room, or meeting at a dinner table where you want to share information, project the image on table cloth. Or inside a small conference room, put a presentation and show that on the wall.

Novak says he puts a power point presentation in his phone, and 20 seconds later, he’s showing it to a room full of people. There’s no heavy projector or equipment rental, disc or USB flash. Novak says the market for these mini digital projectors has been doubling every year.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.