Check out Microvision’s SHOWWX. The SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector is a pocket-sized projection device that can connect to iPods, PCs and other TV-Out devices expected to be made commercially available in March 2010 in the US. Microvision also offers an evaluation kit for other companies who want to embed this technology in their digital products e.g. mobile phones.
While there are obvious uses, this is really intriguing technology from a learning perspective. For the mobile learning folks, this should be a cause for some celebration because of now the ability to use a much larger and high resolution screen estate for animations, videos and regular learning materials.
For elearning, as such, this becomes another platform for individuals and small groups to learn on. What would be interesting is if Pranav Mistry’s efforts putting a camera + projector + motion recognition could be embedded on top the mobile phone or wearable headsets commercially thus making enhanced learner interaction possible. Perhaps an embedded flip open mouse pad on the mobile phone as one of the connected devices could be invented as an option in the meantime.
Learning that requires physical experiences can also be augmented and supported by this technology. For example, a class taking water samples to check purity, using a laptop with a sensor kit and instrumentation software, could augment physical conditions with other sources of information, such as from a Wiki. (See for example the automobile location charting initiatives).
Using a camera and various technologies to recognize visual objects (that have been demonstrated recently in addition to tag-based solutions like QRCodes and Microsoft Tag), physical information can be marked up and even analyzed across other learners and data sources, thus enhancing the learning experience.
In the classroom, we could have one or more hubs actually sharing out information, if so designed to be used, even while the class is in-session – with multiple displays replacing or supplementing the traditional whiteboards.
Perhaps new media forms will emerge as a result. For example, clusters of pico units could integrate into a central console that instructors could use to flip between for the entire class. The experience itself could result in the classroom experience being captured and rendered with different perspectives in mind.
Perhaps, applications will start becoming gesture-enabled as projects such as Microsoft Natal and Mistry’s Sixth Sense begin to capture commercial and popular interest.