Looking for an Android powered pico projector that doesn’t take up a lot of space? That’s what Beam is, a tiny smart projector that was designed to be fastened into a light socket so you can nearly place it anywhere you have room to screw in a light bulb. The Beam is a project currently on Kickstarter but it has already passed through its funding goal of $200,000(currently sitting at $287,128)with a whopping 31 days left to go, so it’s a safe bet that the team behind Beam will be meeting a stretch goal or two. Using this tiny projector you can turn virtually any surface into a smart screen powered by Android, with the capability to run apps on the projector itself, due to the dual-core processor an 8GB of storage inside.
After installing the Beam app on your device, one can presumably use beam for a number of different things like playing games, streaming video through Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu Plus, and even have it complete a wide selection of automated tasks thanks to the compatibility with IFTTT(if this then that). Using Bluetooth Beam even has the capability to hook up Bluetooth gamepads for games, a keyboard and mouse, smartwatches, speakers, you name it. Beam does have speakers built-in though so a connection of Bluetooth speakers isn’t needed, however you may end up getting better audio if you have a decent Bluetooth speaker unit. In addition to the functionality through apps, Beam also has some rather ingenious design, as it packs a working LED light that you can power on at any point, which makes a lot of sense given that you’ll be taking up a light socket to plug it in.
A perhaps more subtle yet still useful design aspect of Beam is the tiny flat part of the surface on one side. Beam is round so it looks like a small lamp, but one small section of the outer shell is flat enabling you to place it down on flat surfaces if you’re looking to project it onto walls and such. This makes it easy to use without having to buy any extra equipment to prop it up. Beam is WiFi enabled so there’s no need to draw a data connection from a linked device, and since it’s plugged into a light socket that right there is your power source, so Beam has no need for a battery. The bulb however will need to be replaced eventually, but not for quite a while as it’s rated for a projection time of 20,000 hours. Funding tiers to land yourself a Beam start at $349, then jump to $369, although both those tier packages are all gone at this point, so funding this project to land your own unit will cost you $399, which gets you the Beam and a fabric cable before it hits store shelves and according to Beam Labs $399 is a lot less than the expected retail price when it launches. Check out the Kickstarter video and more details about the product at the actual Kickstarter page.