Known for their unconventional gadgets, including dancing robots, roving Web cameras and paper guitars, WowWee of Montreal is showing off something a little more mainstream at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada - an iPad extender with leading-edge technology.
Dubbed the Slice, the company's latest device is a tabletop video projector about the size of a loaf of bread - a so-called "picoprojector" - that casts up to a 60-inch screen onto any surface.
"It's a really fun way to take the content that's on your mobile devices and project it onto the wall or the ceiling," WowWee director of marketing Steve Hardy told the Globe and Mail at a press preview event for CES on Tuesday night.
Hardy is not alone in his notion that people will take to picoprojectors soon: The global market for picoprojectors will soar to some 22 million sold by 2014, up from just 700,000 sold in 2010, according to a report by market research firm Pacific Media Associates of Menlo Park, Calif.
That uptake will be driven, in part, by an increase in video quality among picoprojectors from 640x480 pixels (VGA) and 854x480 (WVGA), to 1024x720 (720p) high-definition video, according to PMA president William Coggshall.
Combined with falling prices that are expected to see more than half of picoprojectors sold in 2014 to cost less than $200, the PMA report projects that demand will be further fuelled by a desire for a larger display on slate computers screens that are anticipated to have smaller screens.
That bodes well for the "three-sided creature," as Mr. Hardy calls the Cinemin Slice, which projects in WVGA resolution, includes stereo speakers and connectors for a range of devices such as a PVR, game console, or laptop computer to interlink with Apple Inc.'s iPad, iPhone and iPod.
When it goes on sale at Cinemin.tv at the end of the month, the Slice will add to WowWee's Cinemin line of devices, which includes the company's Cinemin Swivel pocket picoprojector that made its debut at CES in 2009.