File this one in the "weird, but I'll take it!" category. QP Optoelectronics has just announced that it will be showcasing its novel LightPad product at CES 2012, but it's the functionality that's so impressive. It uses a patent-pending tech and user interface to connect your smartphone to an 11" screen, which expands up to 60" when projected. It also includes a full-size keyboard.
Connected with a smartphone, The LightPad provides virtually all functions of a notebook computer for an individual. This is mainly thanks to a rebirth of rear projection using a pico-projector. The high gain and high contrast rear projection screen provides for a high quality display. Advantages of using a pico-projector for the display is power efficiency (over 500 nits for under 2.5 Watts), thin form factor and light weight – key factors for a portable accessory device. Notebook sized displays are not sufficient for many applications including small group meetings where PowerPoint presentations are common. LightPad can produce up to 60 inch display in front projection mode with its super short focal length projection lens.
It can be used as a big screen display/projector for meeting presentations, video/TV viewing, and big screen gaming. Connectivity to all smartphone platforms with HDMI or MHL output (iOS, Android, Win, Blackberry) are supported. QP Optoelectronics has partnered with Texas Instruments, a leader in DLP- based microdisplays. "We are very proud to work with QP Optoelectronics as it brings the LightPadTM to market", stated Frank Moizio, TI's Business Manager for DLP Pico Projection. "The innovative use of pico-projectors in the LightPadTM is a strong example of how TI DLP is enabling compelling large scale viewing experiences from the palm of your hand."
QP Optoelectronics plans for mass production of the LightPad in mid-2012 and is in the process of establishing channel partners including licensing partners. Any guesses on a price? It's definitely a niche device, but one we can see tons of geeks... well, geeking out over.