- Coolness factor
- Great way to share media
- Small enough to carry easily
- Does not work with the iPhone 5 or iPad
- Needs dark room for a really sharp viewable image
- Not all cases will fit dock
- Cannot be used to project media from sources other than an iPhone or iPod Touch
Quick TakeThe ipico is an affordable, pocket-sized projector that lets users share media from their phones, as long as they have the right model.
The iPhone’s built-in camera is great for taking good-looking snapshots and videos. But when you’re with a group of people, showing these off requires passing the phone around multiple times, huddling in a tight group, or transferring the photos or videos to a laptop or PC with a larger screen for viewing.
Another increasingly popular solution is a pico projector. Pico projectors are a somewhat inevitable evolution of the large video projectors you are undoubtedly familiar with. All of us have memories of sitting in a darkened room watching someone read their PowerPoint presentation off of the screen.
As the technology improved, projectors shrunk. First, with micro projectors, to the size of a long paperback book — think a James Patterson novel. Over the past two years, pico projectors have become more common. Using several different technologies, these projectors are pocket-sized, sometimes as small as a deck of cards or pack of cigarettes. The ipico is a class of pico projectors called a sleeve, meaning the device that contains the material being projected is docked with the projector.
It’s Not Always Done With Mirrors
Many small projectors, including a large number of pico projectors, use a Texas Instruments DLP chip. These contain thousands of tiny mirrors that flip up and retract to reflect red, blue, or green light onto a surface.
The ipico pico projector uses a similar, but slightly different technology called Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal on Silicon (FLCOS). Rather than using tiny electromechanical mirrors to reflect the colored light into a projection beam, FLCOS uses reflective red, blue, and green liquid crystal panels which employ a ferroelectric liquid crystal that has a very fast response rate. The output from these reflective panels is combined in the projection beam.
Both of these technologies use an LED as the light source, rather than the incandescent bulb that higher light output projectors have.