Mini projectors
Mini projectors
A mini projector from 3M

Handheld projector devices, which let you show off PowerPoint slideshows or endless baby photos on a larger surface, have enjoyed some niche success, but the real power comes from combining them with other technology. One killer example: Microsoft Kinect, which uses a projector and camera to create gesture-controlled games.

Another product already on the market is the Celluon Magic Cube Virtual Keyboard, a $170 add-on for mobile devices that projects a full-size keyboard onto flat surfaces. Reviewers say it's got a learning curve and some quirks, but it's a cool example of how keyboards could evolve.

Just as the iPad created tabletmania, a wave of Apple's magic wand could propel projectors into everyday use. A patent Apple was granted last year suggests that it has considered embedding projectors in its mobile devices and Macs.

"When they do, miniprojection will immediately go mainstream," Forrester predicts.


By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech - Last updated March 29 2012: 9:37 AM ET
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