Cell Phone with Built-in Projector

March 24, 2005
Cell Phone with Built-in Projector

Siemens researchers have developed a cell phone featuring a built-in projector system. A laboratory model was presented at CeBIT 2005 in Hanover. The system makes it possible to project a complete keypad or display onto a surface. With a special pen, users can write on the virtual keypad and operate the phone’s functions.

At first glance, the mobile phone looks exactly like a conventional cell phone. On the side of the housing there is a swivel bracket that holds the projector unit. The light source is a tiny semiconductor laser that emits monochrome light to project a real-time image of the display. Depending on the position of the bracket, the image can be projected onto a surface in front of the phone or onto a wall. The projector system can even be used to give presentations and slide shows for small groups.

The pen for writing and telephoning is kept in the side of the bracket and features a built-in microphone and speaker. The signals are transmitted via Bluetooth. A distance sensor recognizes when a user is holding the pen to his or her ear and automatically reduces the volume. To write with the virtual keypad, the user simply “types” with the pen on the projected image. Sophisticated sensor technology recognizes the pen’s position in real time.

To obtain this measurement, the researchers from Siemens Communications use a combination of ultrasound and infrared. The pen point continuously sends infrared flashes to a sensor in the phone's housing, and these flashes form the basis for the starting point of the measurements. The pen point simultaneously emits ultrasound signals that are registered at two locations in the housing. A software then determines the exact position of the pen based on the time difference between the two signals.

The demonstration model isn’t a fully functional cell phone yet. At CeBIT, a laptop was used to handle the telephone functions. It hasn’t yet been decided whether Siemens will further develop this technology and launch a mobile phone equipped with this system on the market.

Explore further: NYPD has used cell tracking technology 1,000 times since '08

Related Stories

Engineers invent a bubble-pen to write with nanoparticles

January 14, 2016

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have solved a problem in micro- and nanofabrication—how to quickly, gently and precisely handle tiny particles—that will allow researchers ...

Teachers begin using cell phones for class lessons

November 27, 2009

(AP) -- Ariana Leonard's high school students shuffled in their seats, eagerly awaiting a cue from their Spanish teacher that the assignment would begin. "Take out your cell phones," she said in Spanish.

Toward computers that fit on a pen tip

February 22, 2011

A prototype implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients is believed to contain the first complete millimeter-scale computing system.

Writing in air not pie in the sky

June 10, 2009

It's a familiar scene in airports and train stations. Hands full with luggage, briefcase, laptop or coat and there's something you need to remember, like the level and row numbers where you parked your car in the deck. What ...

Recommended for you

Green monkeys acquired Staphylococcus aureus from humans

July 29, 2016

Many deadly diseases that afflict humans were originally acquired through contact with animals. New research published in ASM's Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that pathogens can also jump the species barrier ...

The role of magnetic fields in star formation

July 29, 2016

The star forming molecular clump W43-MM1 is very massive and dense, containing about 2100 solar masses of material in a region only one-third of a light year across (for comparison, the nearest star to the Sun is a bit over ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.