Sharing photos instantly is easy thanks to social media but short of cameras with built-in inkless printers, sharing photos with the person standing right next to you has not seen the same level of innovation. Canon, however, could be changing that with the Canon M-i1, a cord-free portable projector that can project on any blank surface and connects wirelessly to smartphones or yes, Canon cameras.
The M-i1 projects photos onto a surface for the equivalent to about a 14-inch screen at the minimum or an 84-inch screen at the maximum distance of about 9.8 feet. But the kicker here is that the projector is only about a 4-inch square that is less than an inch thick, which means something smaller than a tablet is able to create a TV-sized screen.
The M-i1 is designed for portability — so the projector can run without any wires. The internal battery lasts up to two hours and can also charge your smartphone in a pinch. As far as those images and video (or yes, even documents and slideshows), those can be stored on 4GB of internal memory. The portable projector also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which makes it possible to share content from a smartphone or laptop without any cords.
Despite the small size, the mini projector boasts a 1,080p resolution. The projector’s brightness is rated at 701 lumens. For viewing video, a built-in monoaural speaker allows for audio too. According to the Japan-based tech publication Nikkei, the projector uses an Android operating system and can support some apps, which also allows the projector to browse the web.
The Canon M-i1 offers a lot of portability but it’s not universally available, at least not yet. The Canon M-i1 went on sale earlier in September at Canon’s online store in Japan, retailing for the equivalent of $270.
Canon has not clarified if the mini projector will see a more global rollout in the future. The portability of the device could open up potential markets in a variety of industries, from viewing photos at an on-site photo shoot to viewing images and documents at a construction site.
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