By Udit Chaudhuri
As a tech enthusiast and marketer, one often has to tackle a moot question: ‘Is this product a be-all for one or all-things-for-everyone?’ If the former, it means the product does a lot in a well-researched niche. If the latter, it’s a flop. Or, back to basics as in our Painware story. While the Beam in Samsung’s Galaxy seems to focus on a certain type of customer and need, does it face the hazards of line extension?
With the advent of high-performance opto-electronics, a number of cell-phones offered the projection features a couple of years ago. Certainly those made sense to see a larger image and at a comfortable distance, better than banging heads over a tiny screen with friends sharing a slide or video. Though a great time-killer, the concept proved impractical even for a small meeting, quizzing - where is the surface to project? Besides, the intensity was poor at 6 or 9 lumens at best, needing total darkness for clarity.
Consequently, increasing screen resolutions, larger panel sizes of Dell, iPad and Samsung tablets gave sharper, brighter and larger images that made it practical to watch or share a video over a length of time. New-generation Smartphones stand square here. The bevy of ports lets them all receive a variety of inputs, even HD movies, but projection is mostly via a PC; Bluetooth in few models. After all, a tablet or Smartphone is meant to be a personal communicator, entertainer and quick-work station. However, presentation is increasingly becoming a need for the smart worker on the move and a projector is still a burden to carry or an obligation to seek.
The Samsung Galaxy Beam, a huge improvement from its predecessor in the Samsung Beam launched in 2010, now features a 15 lumen display, dual-core processing at 1 GHz, 8 GB of built-in storage, and 768 MB of RAM. It runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and is powered by a 2000 mAh of storage battery. Those lumens would also mean a high lux level and perhaps in total darkness, the Galaxy Beam will be able to project an HD video to a width of 50 inches (as large as a wide-screen TV) at its proportionate distance.