Articulated desk lamps are great, allowing you to shine the illumination exactly where it’s needed. Turns out, those same articulated arms make it an excellent mounting stand for mini-projectors, as proven by Beam, a mini-projector designed to screw into light sockets for power.
While pico projectors are nothing new, Beam’s form factor is definitely novel, allowing you to use any lamp as a mounting stand for a projection device. Want to show something up the ceiling? Screw it onto the floor lamp. How about on the floor? Place it on the ceiling socket. How about on your desk? Place it on your desk lamp (assuming, of course, you're not using a Candle Poise) and enjoy.
Aside from serving as a mini-projector, Beam can also be used as illumination, so permanently using it in place of a bulb on desk lamps is actually a viable option. It uses a LED-based pico projector that produces images with 854 x 480 resolution and 100 lumens of brightness (max size 10 feet diagonal), with 12 LEDs that activate during lamp mode and an integrated pair of two-watt speakers.
More than a projector, though, it’s designed to function as a standalone Android computer, with a 1.3GHz dual-core CPU, 8GB of onboard storage, WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. That means, you can use Beam independent of the accompanying app (iOS and Android), pairing it with Bluetooth mouse and keyboards for control. It can also run any regular Android app, so you can play content on the projector without draining your phone.
Designed to be always-on, Beam can be programmed using simple IF-THEN-ELSE logic streams, so it can perform functions automatically (e.g. “If I come home, load up the YouTube app”). Seriously, this thing levels up the basic mini-projector into a device that’s actually exciting.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for Beam. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $399.