Future iOS devices, including the hitherto unseen iPhone 5, may come with integrated mini projectors, a patent application by Apple suggests.
Uncovered by Patently Apple, the patent, granted by the US Patents & Trademark Office on August 11th, reveals Cupertino’s plans to create iOS devices that offer built-in or attachable projectors.
These will enable users to connect multiple devices together to produce a ‘shared workspace’ and transfer content, such as images, between the projected displays during presentations, meetings and whatnot.
More interestingly, the patent explains that the cameras on the devices may also be designed “to detect movement of an object, such as a hand, that produces gestures within the viewing area of the camera”. For instance, a user may make a fist over a file and move it over a second device to perform a copy function.
If it really works as described, this could significantly boost the iPhone and iPad’s credentials as serious business tools.
However, we can’t quite see Apple incorporating the projectors out of the box, not least because it would ramp up costs but also because the additional component would take up more space. That'd really throw a spanner in Jon Ive’s goal to create the most anorexic device ever invented.
Only time will tell if the invention will ever see the light of day. We’re hopeful at least for an accessory that can be snapped on for those who really need it.
Source: Patently Apple via VentureBeat