Whilst developing a tele-presence robot, a line of research into a number of pico projection engines inspired an exploration of the technology in its own right as a product.
With Apple dominating the portable media space at the time, it was salient to mate the newly emerging field of pico projection with the vast market of the iPhone. The challenge was to overcome the wild lands of an emerging technology and early adoption to design a tangible, real world and affordable consumer pico projector.
It became clear after a phase of usability research that there were some serious shortcomings with existing products and some surprise insights in experimenting with design prototypes.
Despite the label of pocket projectors, all required tripods in real life usage to achieve projection angles. The cable and carriage solutions also added up to a pretty unpocketable package. The most unexpected discovery was that the battery life of all projectors tested did not last the length of an average movie and it was surprising that only one had a speaker.
In experimentation, trying to eliminate the need for a bulky tripod, a hinge concept evolved. When trying to find projectable real estate in a normal room it occurred that a 90 degree hinge could project onto the ceiling (the largest blank canvas a room can offer). The ceiling viewing mode was born!
SAMPLE OF EARLY SKETCH EXPLORATION
The approach to the design was one of pure simplicity, usability and honesty.
In seeking the most compact size possible, the formula started with a bespoke battery designed to last beyond the length of an average movie.
Around this foundation the placement was kept as tight as possible whilst integrating the hinge concept.
Following the usability principle a bespoke Apple adapter was designed with a simple thumb divot design after feedback that some users struggled getting a finger grip on standard Apple plugs.
Simple viewing angle adjustment
A philosophy of pure simplicity and usability drove the design.