Samsung announces the Galaxy Beam Smartphone with built-in projector

Feb 27, 2012 by Bob Yirka report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Cell phones are great, but one of their limitations is the size of the screen, which of necessity has to be small. To get around this problem, engineers have been for years toying with the idea of building a projector into the phone so that images can be displayed on any nearby flat surface. Unfortunately, until now, such phones proved too bulky for users to accept. Now, however, Samsung appears to have jumped that hurdle as it announces the Galaxy Beam, a new, small, thin and lightweight phone that has a projector built into it that allows users to project whatever is on the screen onto any nearby surface.

When looking down holding the phone in the palm of the hand, the projected image is shot out of the lens onto a nearby wall (sort of like holding a flashlight). If the phone is held upright, the image is projected onto the ceiling. It’s the first mainstream phone to offer everyday customers in-phone projection.

Most who have seen a demo of the Beam at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona agree that it’s a game changer. Not only is the phone able to project stuff onto walls but the stuff it projects is bright (15 lumens) clear and sharp. And it’s just 12.5mm thick, which is of course slightly more than some of its non-projector competitors, but well within comfort range.

Oddly, the phone demoed was running Google Android 2.3 rather than Ice Cream Sandwich, on a 1GHz dual-core processor; something that will likely change once the phone is officially released. It also has 8GB of internal memory, a 5MP camera and a 2000mAh battery to keep the running despite the extra demands of the .

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Company reps at the demo said the projector could be used to share images or video with others that are nearby and could even be used to play video games. In the demo, images projected on a screen were up to 50 inches, which is certainly big enough to watch movies or give slide shows. It’s also pretty easy to imagine users conversing via Skype, or cruising the Internet while in bed with web pages displayed on the ceiling.

did not announce pricing nor an availability date for the Beam, but expectations are that it will land in stores sometime in the second quarter of this year.

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User comments : 4

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gmurphy
1 / 5 (1) Feb 27, 2012
Hmmm, pretty cool but I fail to see how this could practical?, a niche use only I would expect.
StarGazer2011
1 / 5 (1) Feb 27, 2012
nice, would need to be able to alter the direction of the projection to use it for skype though (unless you want to be looking at the roof!).
this would be great for entertaining kids and embaressing politicians i.e. you could project their own words onto them at a press conference as they contradict themselves, hilarious :)
call me when its full HD
ziphead
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2012
Hmmm, pretty cool but I fail to see how this could practical?, a niche use only I would expect.


...you for real???
alq131
not rated yet Feb 28, 2012
When the pico projectors were first introduced, the idea was great, and it still is. Any business person who lugs around a projector for presentations knows this. likewise, rather than bringing my laptop on vacations to watch netflix or to skype would now be much more convenient to just carry my phone. just waiting for a time when they also put the smart camera algorithms in it to use visual cues for navigation rather than having to touch the screen.