The whole point of the Walkman-iPod revolution was that entertainment suddenly became very personal. You could have 50 people on a bus and every single one of them might be nodding their head to a different beat. The next generation of accessory is/was/will be about making the experience into a group one. KitGuru powers up the speakers and listens to the music (with a group of close friends).
Although founded in 1997 and quite popular in Taiwan for drawing tablets etc, it has recently been diverted into the multi-purpose, low-end gadgets that seem to do well in Asia, but not so much in the West.
Now it looks as though the company is going to focus on ‘Pocket DV’ as its mission statement. Following that decision, it has put a lot of design resource into finding the perfect pocket companion for the iPhone, but have they succeeded?
The Pocket Cinema series is certainly cute looking and well designed. The concept is that you can plug your iPhone into (a) project films onto the wall while, (b) recharging at the same time. Originally armed with a 15 Lumen light source, it was able to through up an iPad-sized image in a dark room. Now, the company is preparing a 50 Lumen launch.
How much is 1 Lumen and why would you need more? Well, at the most simple level, if you had one standard candle’s worth of light, then it is rated as 1 Candela – which means it is pushing out 12 Lumens in a sphere. So the ‘light of a single candle, in a single direction, as seen by the human eye – is a Candela but its radial luminosity in all directions is rated in Lumens. With a quick calculation, you can see that 1 Candela at source is 12.57 Lumens in all directions [Note that we have deliberately used caps to make these sciency words stand out - don't try that at home - Ed].
So AIPTEK has moved from one candle to almost 4 candles with its new design. In the same space. Monks would be proud!
AIPTEK claim that it will be ready for mass market launch at less than €200 by Computex in June. We’ll see. In the meantime, here are some cool pics of the unit being used. Without an obvious audio solution, it’s easier to see these being used in a business, rather than home entertainment situation. Also, no word on whether there will be an iPad version.
KitGuru says: We love the idea, but when we pushed the AIPTEK people on ‘speaker systems – so the whole room could actually hear what was being projected’, they seemed to not understand what we were asking. Small set of speakers with projector built in may well be a better solution – but would not fit in your pocket. Maybe that’s the answer.
Comments below or in the KitGuru forums.