Apple Patent - Projected Display Shared Workspaces
Ever since I first explored the use of Pico Projectors, I've mentioned that it was only a question of time before Apple looked to incorporate the technology into their iOS devices, and here is a patent application from Apple which goes some way to proving that theory.
United States patent application US 2011/0197147 was originally filed in Feb 2010 and is called Projected Display Shared Workspaces.
Generally, the patent talks about how 2 or more projected displays, each from a separate device, could be displayed adjacent to one another to produce a shared workspace. Images displayed on one of the projected displays may be copied or transferred to another projected display within the shared workspace.
Each device may also contain a cameras that can be used to detect gestures on its projected display so that a user can transfer images between displays using simple gestures.
Devices that could be used include any type of electronic device capable of displaying projected images and recognizing gestures through a camera.
Suitable devices which are specifically mentioned as examples include an iPod, iPhone and MacBook.
Also mentioned is the important realisation that whereas a single camera can be used to determine movement in x and y spatial directions relative to the projected display plane - 2 or more cameras may operate in conjunction with one another to detect the spatial z direction .
One or more communication interfaces will provide channels that allow the devices to share information and control settings for the shared workspace.
Other related topics are discussed in more detail in the patent (see link above).
Now, I believe, it's only a question of time before some of these features start appearing in the market.