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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Lightbulb-Shaped Projector Could Power The Smart Home Of The Future

Beam, a lightbulb-shaped gadget, promises projects your smartphone screen onto any surface you want. Launched on Kickstarter this month, the $350 projector screws into any lightbulb socket, so you can set it up anywhere you’d normally stick a lamp, allowing you to play videos on your wall, view digital photo albums on your kitchen table, or, in general, make your smartphone screen a (literally) bigger presence in your house.

As a self-contained device, it seems destined for mediocrity, largely thanks to its dim 100 lumens lamp that makes a 40-watt lightbulb seem like the sun. But one design detail—the fact that it slots into a light socket—hints at a promising way of turning dumb homes smart.

Light bulbs have long been an easy smart home upgrade, since it's cheap and easy to slap a sensor and a Wi-Fi chip on them, and there's little extra installation work. But now with the more futuristic smart home concepts moving to turn any number of surfaces around the house into computers and interactive displays—say, to project a recipe onto your kitchen counter or check your email on the living room wall—figuring out how to mount these new devices of varying form factors on walls and ceilings, let alone power them, is proving to be a hurdle towards mass adoption.

Read more: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3042636/a-lightbulb-shaped-projector-could-power-the-smart-home-of-the-future

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