Presenting TouchPico, a Touchscreen Projector

Presenting TouchPico, a Touchscreen Projector

Mar 14, 2014

TOUCHPICO 4

Now here’s an idea that looks like it should’ve been created long ago. TouchPico is a simple, tiny projector that can project any phone’s touchscreen onto any solid surface. User has a special stylus to interact with the projected screen, spawning a mouse cursor on it. If you’re curious, you can get additional info here: Developer’s Website.

KickStarter Spotlight: Rhino Shield

KickStarter Spotlight: Rhino Shield

Feb 20, 2013

If I thought about some of the least sexy things that I could write this KickStarter Spotlight on, I would imagine that plastic screen protectors would be somewhere near the top. These are the things that nobody wants on their device and, in my opinion, something that really muddles the advantage in having a swift, crisp display. So, that aside, for me to take up an entire blog post about a screen cover it must be fairly incredible. All the latest advancements in Corning’s Gorilla Glass and similar products have ushered in a new wave of advanced smartphone screens capable of being ever sensitive as well as strong. Unfortunately, things do happen. Every smartphone owner, including your’s truly, has that story of the time that they dropped their phone a mere foot and ended up with that disheartening spider-webbed glass. While we might not be able to do anything about the glass in modern phones there is certain control over what goes on that screen. Enter Evolutive Lab’s Rhino Shield which, among carrying on the animal moniker trend, is by-far-and-away the most unbelievable protection that I have ever seen.

Rhino Shield is a super-thin film that adheres to the glass on most smartphones and basically exists to absorb pretty much everything one could throw at it. The demo videos on the Rhino Shield KickStarter page are incredibly impressive and it truly is a marvel in modern technology. A video taken from CES shows the Rhino Shield protected glass shrugging off heavy impacts that had just previously shattered its unprotected counterparts and even, in one instance, a sheet of aluminum. After all that, the Evolutive Labs representative takes the piece of glass and puts 100 lbs of force directly onto the face, leaving an impression into the film, but leaving no damage on the actual glass. He notes that they are still testing to find the true breaking point of the glass, and judging by how well it performed in the demo it is not hard to imagine it being somewhere in the low 200’s. This is akin to the average individual placing their phone face up and physically standing on the screen with soccer cleats and not leaving so much as a scratch, because, oh yeah, Rhino Shield is also incredibly scratch and fingerprint resistant.

Most people spend hundreds of dollars on their phones and given the still-fragile nature of the glass that they are comprised of it makes sense to splurge a bit and grab something that is guaranteed to keep that phone protected with most everything short of an elephant. Unfortuanely, even with all this great press, Evolutive Labs is still about $34,000 short of their goal with just over 20 days remaining. So, I strongly encourage everyone to at least take a look at their page and watch the videos, because as always with KickStarter, if the goal is not reached no funding is given.

Android 4.2’s Miracast Wireless Screen Mirroring: Why It Could Be The Future – Or Also Not

Android 4.2’s Miracast Wireless Screen Mirroring: Why It Could Be The Future – Or Also Not

Oct 31, 2012

While Jelly Bean 4.2 doesn’t really bring a lot to the table, it does bring one particularly interesting feature to Android devices: wireless display mirroring through the Miracast protocol. This is designed to be an open standard that hardware manufacturers can implement to support secure wireless display transmission. Haven’t heard of it? Well, the protocol is just starting out, but hypothetically, it could be something widespread if Smart TVs take off in a substantial way. Imagine being able to play back a video from the Nexus 4 on a TV directly without worrying about having an HDMI output cable, or in the case of Apple and the AirPlay standard, having to have a separate box.

Granted, while AirPlay has the advantage of Apple’s massive distribution entities, for consumers it has the disadvantage of being Apple-only. Want to use AirPlay Mirroring? Hopefully you’re an Apple user! Miracast has few devices certified for use right now, though Netgear has a promising device in the pre-certification stages. The benefit to the open approach is that users won’t be locked in to one hardware provider, but considering that Apple benefits from the closed approach in ways that are best expressed with dollar signs, the open approach is a tough hill to climb, and Miracast could easily go the way of many other attempted standards.

However, considering that there are millions of Nexus 7s out there (and more being sold every month, even in the face of growing competition), and new devices that will get this protocol right away, along with a year or so from now when everyone else catches up, the sheer amount of hardware that will support it may be enough to propel it along, especially as Smart TVs start to spread. That may actually be the clearest path to success for Miracast: if it just becomes a quiet ubiquity, something users expect to have because it’s just everywhere.

But even Android manufacturers could be their own worst enemy here if they decide to try their own proprietary standards. Samsung’s doing it with AllShare supporting wireless display mirroring, and as mentioned earlier: proprietary standards if done right can have long-term benefits of selling more hardware now and in the future. But in the Android space, no one has had much success doing that. Even Apple still regards the Apple TV as a side project.

So Miracast may be a long way from being the kind of universal screen mirroring and media sharing protocol it has the potential to be, but maybe it being a part of 4.2 is just the flickering ember it needs to light up.