Is Apple Planning to Put a Projector for the Next iPhone?

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Is Apple Planning to Put a Projector for the Next iPhone?

August 18, 2011 — by Gaurav Kheterpal4

iPhone ProjectorApple has always been in the news for its bestselling products like the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. Off-late, the Cupertino giant hogged the limelight every time it filed a patent. A case in point – the U.S. PTO recently approved a patent application from Apple that could well lead to mini or pico-like being integrated into future iOS devices including the iPhone and the iPad. Currently, you need to buy a VGA adapter to connect an iOS device to a projector. If the recent pico-projector patent is anything to go by, using external projectors with iOS devices could soon be a thing of the past.

Though Apple refrains from commenting on such speculations, it’s well known that Apple has been working on this feature since 2009. The idea of integrating such projector-like features into iOS devices is to create a shared workspace in presentations. Apple says devices such as smartphones, tablets and even computers have small screens so it’s difficult to share work or presentations among workmates, and this patent would help them solve that problem.

The patent is titled ‘Projected display shared workspaces’ and the summary mentions

“Two or more projected displays, each from a separate electronic device, may be displayed proximate or adjacent to one another to produce the shared projected workspace. Images displayed within the shared workspace may be transferred and/or copied to another projected display within the shared workspace.”

The patent essentially describes a system for projecting the on-screen output onto a nearby surface. A number of indications suggest that this technology would be able to combine projections from multiple devices into one screen, thereby leading to a true “shared workspace.” Apple may even incorporate technology that detects specific gestures for document sharing.

iPhone Projector

On a related note, Apple recently registered the domain Applepico.com which further suggests that pico projectors may soon find their way into future Apple devices. Will the next iPhone (or the iPad) have a built-in pico projector? We can never be sure about it till Apple reveals the truth. However, it does sound like a fascinating proposition to project straight from your iOS device. What do you think? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.

[Images via PatentlyApple]

Gaurav Kheterpal

Gaurav Kheterpal is a seasoned technology professional with nearly a decade of experience in Mobile, Web 2.0 and Open Source Technologies. He's an Apple fanboy and an iPhone lover/ critic since it's early days. He loves exploring, developing and reviewing iPhone apps, as well as covering news stories about Apple and its products.