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Phone Projector Experts Feature In New Scientist

Schoolchildren testing out mobile phone projectors on a visit to InfoLab21 Schoolchildren testing out mobile phone projectors on a visit to InfoLab21

Mobile interaction specialists Enrico Rukzio and Andrew Greaves are featured in a New Scientist article on the use of mobile phone projectors.

The article asks whether the possible drawbacks of this new technology, such as privacy issues or visual pollution, will outweigh the benefits of being able to project an image or video from your mobile phone onto a flat surface such as a wall.

Rukzio and Greaves are from Lancaster University's Computing Department at InfoLab21.

The pair presented at the Mobile Human Computer Interaction conference in Amsterdam last September, Greaves says the ability to have two screens - a tiny one on the phone and a large one on the wall - proved compelling for their group of volunteers (www. tinyurl.com/projpix).

"They could keep personal info on the phone and public content, like pictures or maps they wanted to talk about, on the projection."

Rukzio thinks teenagers will be the first adopters,

"The dim image is going to be an issue that hints at more youthful, informal uses. In a darkish pub, photos and video look great projected on the ceiling - and fine, too, on the side of a house at night."

"This is a promising, positive technology if used in the right context. If not, there could be a lot of visual pollution," warns Greaves.

"People could screen material on a bus, say, that could be indecent - and that might even lead to the need for legislation.

"One privacy and security risk that must be addressed, he says, is accidental or malicious projection of somebody's personal information, such as bank details."

Rukzio thinks that after a few initial transgressions people may self-adjust:

"Some kind of social protocol about public projection might emerge. For instance, we don't hear as many annoying ringtones as we used to."

To read the full article please go to the link below.

BBC Newsround visited InfoLab21 earlier this year to film local schoolchildren testing out the new technology.

Mon 27 April 2009