Is That A Projector In Your Pocket?
By Carlo Longino, Wed Jan 12 01:00:00 GMT 2005

Just as software must evolve to handle the growing needs of mobile multimedia, hardware will change too.

There's been a lot of talk lately about media going mobile, a topic that's sure to be big this year as technology vendors, content providers and mobile operators look to cash in on users' appetites to take their media along with them. From Apple's collaboration with Motorola to companies supporting mobile access to home media, much of the talk has been about software and systems -- but hardware advances will support the move, as well.

Handsets are already coming out in Japan with advanced speakers and TV-out capabilities, and at CES last week, Mitsubishi and Texas Instruments were showing off a palm-sized DLP video projector that's leading some to speculate that tiny projectors could shortly make their way into mobile handsets.

As mobile handsets become multi-purpose multimedia devices, their functionalities will have to improve (beyond more-megapixel cameras and ultra-polyphonic ringtones) to keep pace. Display limitations are a constant concern for device manufacturers, faced with consumers that want huge screens, but tiny devices. Advances such as tiny projectors would help -- showing off photos would be a little more exciting when they're splashed up on the nearest wall, rather than passing an iPod photo around.

It's these types of innovations devices will need, to provide better sound, bigger and higher-quality visuals, and even things like haptics to make the multimedia experience more immersive.

Personally, I'm waiting for the Princess Leia-style holographic display.