iPad, iPhone and Macbook models could become part of a projector system if Apple makes good on a patent that’s been uncovered. The plans revive speculation that Apple is pondering putting pico projectors into future iPad, iPhone and Macbook designs and using them as controllers in a projection system.
Apple’s patent details several different approaches to creating a projection system. It may create a brand new controller for a projection system with a pico projector built-in or bake the feature in to future versions of the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Macbook.
With its eye on further promoting the iPhone and iPad (and its iWork suite) as business tools, one reason for bringing a projector to the iPhone OS family would be to make them more attractive to business people that give presentations all the time.
Putting a powerful pico projector into the iPad or iPhone would give business folk a way of quickly showing what they’re working on and as Patently Apple suggests could easily be integrated with Apple’s Keynote Remote app.
Meanwhile, after promoting the iPod Touch as the “funnest iPod” and gunning for the gaming market with the iPhone and iPad, a pico projector could bring extra appeal for casual gamers. Rumours of an iPhone pico projector first surfaced last summer.
There’s also the potential for a pico projector power up to allow you to project films or TV shows from your iPad or iPhone onto any suitable surface. It would be a great move to make the iPad even more appealing as an on-the-go entertainment machine.
Apple’s patent details a networked projection system using multiple clients and suggests that the projector could even be built into a network hub in the same way that Time Capsule has a router built-in.
As usual with Apple, just because they’ve toyed with an idea doesn’t mean it will ever reach us. But we’d love to see Apple TV perked up with a built-in projector and future iPad and iPhone variations with pico projectors.