Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Projector laptop.

Any size screen
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

A laptop without a built in LCD. Instead it has a projector that can make any suitable white surface into the screen.

When you are ready to work, sit facing a blank white surface. This could be anything from a sheet of paper pinned to the back of the airplane seat in front of you to a movie theater screen thirty feet away. Flip up a small periscope like device from above the keyboard (this simultaneously unlocks the keyboard). The system determines the distance to the screen, its albedo, and the ambient luminence of the room and adjusts internally for focus and brightness. Then your desktop appears.

The primary disadvantage to this is going to be power consumption. So maybe a stirling engine with zero point power absorbtion and cold fusion capabilities will be needed.

Galbinus_Caeli, May 16 2006

Best linky http://global.mitsu...o_mobile/xd90u.html
Use this mirco-projector for the base only 218 x 67 x 172 mm [evilpenguin, Sep 08 2007]

Pranav Mistry: http://www.ted.com/...nse_technology.html
The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology [gtoal, Aug 26 2012]


       Can it focus directly on your retina? Shouldn't need as much power that way.
half, May 16 2006

       Harder to share if its projecting on your retina.
Galbinus_Caeli, May 16 2006

       Details phlish, details - the point is, those of us who have to lug around a laptop in order to give product demonstrations and training courses, totally hate the fact that often, we're obliged to lug around an entirely separate unit for beaming the screen display onto the wall. Self Projecting Laptops would be a great leap forward. And an LED projector, assuming it could be packed into a small space, and run cold enough not to fry the machine, built into a laptop - they'd sell like hot cakes.[+]
zen_tom, May 17 2006

       Build the projector into a device the size of a typical full-size computer keyboard. Plenty of room in there. Perhaps one could hack such a thing together provided a working LED projector and a Mac Mini.
ed, May 17 2006

       [+] You should try living in my city though [Galbinus_Caeli] .. any large clear surfaces don't stay so for long. :)
kuupuuluu, May 17 2006

       [kpl] Well that is why you need the accessory can of white spray paint (USB and FireWire enabled of course).
Galbinus_Caeli, May 17 2006

       For [phlish]: Sensors implanted into your synapses by nanobots read the electrical impulses passing between your neurons and transmit their interpretation (using Bluetooth, of course) to the device. This serves as the user interface and laptop so all you need is this reception station and a projector.
Be careful to not lose your train of thought or things could get embarrassing.
methinksnot, May 17 2006

       Plish, I'm very often the person to say, as you did, that something is a wish, not an idea. But on this one I gave a croissant without asking for details on how it would be made. I see it as a logical progression in the development of computers, but not an inevitable and obvious progression.   

       This took a leap of logic, or something, which is to say that it had never occurred to me. Once suggested, however, I see it as a matter of engineering. It would take some work to make it work, but I'd call that trivial, as it could be modified from existing technology.   

       After all that babbling, I must say that I am referring only to the basic idea, the projected screen. The fancy sensors and automatic adjustments would be more complicated, and would probably be developed someday. The last paragraph is just silly.
baconbrain, May 17 2006

       [phish] and [baconbrain] of course the last paragraph was intended to be silly. So far as the core idea, it is a combination of three existing technoligies.   

       1) Laptop computers.   

       2) Projection monitors   

       3) Automated focus.   

       There is no magic here, no unobtanioum technology There are obvious hurdles, primarially power and heat (which are flip sides of the same coin). Are these solvable? I dunno, that's why I am putting it on the halfbakery.   

       I could have flapped my arms and made up some nonsense about low power superbright LEDs and micro fuel cells, but I chose not to.
Galbinus_Caeli, May 17 2006

       [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] hope this isn't too much [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] annoying anbody [+] or anything [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] I just love this idea [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] [+] please build this [+] [+] [+] [+]
evilpenguin, Sep 08 2007

       I do believe I was just bunbombed by a penguin.
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 08 2007

       <Duke of Wellington>By Gad sir, I do believe you were.</DoW>
pertinax, Sep 08 2007

       Pranav Mistry got the credit for a minor variation on this idea at the TED India talks in 2009 :-(   

       I can add a couple of ideas for improving the basic system: 1) use a laser pocket projector as it doesn't require focusing; 2) have the computer locate the projected display via a camera (after all it already knows what is on its screen, so it shouldn't be hard to locate a copy of its screen on a wall somewhere) and use that to auto-calibrate any pointing device, rather than require Johnny Lee-style manual calibration at several points.
gtoal, Aug 26 2012


       What brought me here is that I had this great idea. Came to write it down now, then remembered that I had written this idea already a few decades ago on HB. Then I found this. Seems it wasn't (just) my idea...   

       The way to do it without too much power consumption is to have the projector at the end of the screen projecting diagonally onto the screen with an image that is corrected for creating an "flat" image on the screen.
pashute, Nov 20 2019


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