Where is Technology Headed?

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Geek!This is Taylor Trevathan’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

As newer and better technology replaces the old, one may realize that the replacement gadgets tend to get smaller, and smaller, and smaller. Is there such a thing as too portable or too small? To what point do we say that we are unable to use a piece of technology because the screen is much too tiny to read or the buttons are too small for our fingers? Well, the folks at 3M® are working towards a solution.

Recently, 3M® has created an ultra-portable projector dubbed the MPro110 which weighs in at a light 5.4 ounces. The MPro110 is able to project a 10” screen in a brightly lit room and a whopping 50” screen in a dark room. The MPro110 is virtually the cheapest big-screen television on the market today and can be bought at most electronic retailers while setting you back a mere $360.

This technology was made possible by 3M® first, though it was a close race with other top companies trying to do the same thing: make a projector that can fit into your pocket. 3M® took the simplest route possible by just shrinking down the technology that works rather than completely altering it altogether. The projector actually has a tiny lamp and tiny lenses/prisms in it; so it is basically a projector that has been hit by a shrinking ray.

The idea is that either 3M® or other companies will refine the technology and make it even smaller so as it would fit into laptops, phones, or even pen top computers. 3M® has already announced that they are meeting with cell phone companies to do just that. For now, it comes with inputs for laptops, mp3 players, digital cameras, and anything else that you can run a video-out cable from. The screen displays in standard definition (640 by 480 pixels) which is still amazingly impressing considering its size.

Due to this ‘gadget’, technology may still be able to shrink while maintaining functionality. Screens becoming obsolete and being replaced by micro-projectors, keyboards going out of style with the new touch screen keyboards to take their place, and computers being slimmed down to nothing more than a stick containing all of the hardware, and infra-red keyboard and a micro projector all in one.

With the new development in OLED technology, screens can be as thin as paper and able to bend. One could just roll up their television in a digital-scroll and be on his or her way. Technology will continue to get smaller and smaller; even more advanced each year. The question “Isn’t it just too small to use?” will not exist any longer. Processors will become microscopic and the micro computer will be exactly that: microscopic.

With companies like 3M paving the technological world of tomorrow, it is a wonder where we will be a month, a year, or a decade from now. One thing is for certain though: we will never stop dreaming of the next best thing that can make our lives easier without worrying about size over convenience.