Thursday, November 4, 2010

New iPod Dock/Pico Projector?

neo-i ipod dock and projector
Lately, I’ve been noticing that companies are beginning to couple certain devices into one convenient device. I’ve especially been seeing this within the projector field. Everywhere you can find phones with projectors, cameras with projectors, and now an iPod deck with a projector. Optoma, a manufacturer of DLP and pico projectors, has just recently announced their new Neo-i. The company says that the Neo-i is the world’s first all-in-one iPod sound dock to feature a built-in pico projector. This is definitely an odd combination, but it could be extremely useful at times.

Although the Neo-i is technically not a portable device, it is very easy to move from place to place. It measures in at 8.9 x 12.8 x 3.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.5 pounds. The device features a variety of inputs including a VGA, an A/V jack, an Audio Out, an HDMI, and a DC jack. It also comes with a 16-watt speaker system that provides some great sound including a nice bass reflex for an iPod dock. The docking station of the Neo-i uses Apple’s 30-pin connector. This means that you can use your Apple iPod, iPhone, or iPod Touch with the device, and that the station will charge whatever device you are utilizing. The HDMI and VGA ports even allow you to connect devices like your laptop, Blu-ray player, or Apple TV to the Neo-i. There is also an accessory kit that is offered that will allow you to connect your iPad to the docking station.

Optoma allows you to control your iPhone or iPod from the device with an IR remote that they include with the dock or from the backlit control panel on the top of the Neo-i. You are also able to display the artist name or song or video titles by utilizing the projector, which is awesome. The projector built in to the oval shaped dock is a 50 ANSI Lumen Pico projector. It utilizes LED backlight behind the device's 0.3” WVGA DLP color wheel. This means that the device has a low enough power draw to run on batteries alone. The pico projector can deliver up to a 854 x 480 pixel resolution in its 16:9 format. Its image can be projected at any size from 5 to 120 inches, and it features a contrast ratio of 2000:1.

Unfortunately, the Neo-i iPod Dock/Pico Projector will not be available for sale until sometime in mid-December. It will be selling for $449.

I think that this new technology from Optoma is fantastic. Optoma has been producing projectors for quite some time, so it’s not too incredibly hard to believe that they decided to integrate a projector into an iPod dock. It makes sense. I think it’s a great combination and something that will definitely be a hit with iPod and iPhone users. It’s also going to be released just in time for the holiday season. I think that Optoma will do well with this new product, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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