Projectors can be used for a lot more than just movie nights in the backyard. Since they’re light, portable machines, they can be taken into boardrooms, classrooms, convention halls, and other large-scale venues without the need for extensive set-up. If you’re innovative, you can also use them for more than simply projecting slides onto a screen. Here are just a few creative projector ideas to add a little oomph to your next presentation.
1. Interactive Whiteboard
Interactive whiteboards are gaining popularity as visual aids. Like their name suggests, they have an interactive element that allows you to write, draw, edit, or highlight aspects of your presentation in real-time. They’re much more dynamic than static images, and they don’t require the turn-based clicking of something like PowerPoint or Google Slides.
The typical set-up of an interactive whiteboard requires three elements: a computer, a projector, and a blank surface that can be used as a screen. There are also “whiteboard bundles” available for purchase that include things like pointers, infrared pens, and pull-down screens.
The benefits of an interactive whiteboard are numerous. Not only do they increase visual interest with their moving parts, but they can also lead to greater levels of collaboration, connectivity, and audience engagement. If you host events for schools or businesses, they can also be reused indefinitely without the need to purchase more supplies like dry-erase markers. Last but not least, since they incorporate computers and projectors, they can be a high-tech way to deliver ideas to a crowd.
The one downside to interactive whiteboards is their price. They aren’t cheap, especially if you’re looking at bundles, and this can be cost-prohibitive to an entrepreneur or small business owner.
A popular alternative is to use a Wiimote. These are the remote controls of the Nintendo Wii, and they can be cheaply repurposed as infrared pointers for a homemade interactive whiteboard. With nothing but a Wiimote and a projector, you can create your own whiteboard system.
- 【Digital Whiteboard】This innovative device enhances presentations with drawing, writing, and note-taking capabilities, perfect for interactive offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms. Collaborate seamlessly with multiple users.
- 【Automatic Calibration】The F-35L portable IWB offers automatic calibration, completing the process in just 2 seconds, making it much more convenient compared to other IWBs that require manual calibration.
- 【Interactive Pen】This lightweight and portable device, equipped with an electronic pen, can be used on any flat surface, including whiteboards. It's versatile, serving as a computer cursor or drawing/writing tool, making it ideal for demos and brainstorming.
- 【Support Windows System】The F-35L Portable Interactive Whiteboard lets you control your Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, or 11 PC wirelessly from any flat surface using an electronic pen as a mouse. Not compatible with iOS.
- 【Flexible Fixing Base】Easy to Focus: Rotate the camera, you can get a horizontal 360° and vertical 120° setting range.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get your brand noticed is by stamping your logo in a visible space. If you don’t want to physically alter your surroundings, however, you can use a projector for a prominent but impermanent branding effort.
If you’re hosting a convention, you can put your logo on doors, walls, windows, and product booths. If you’re sponsoring a local event, you can invest in A-frames and other types of signage to stage at strategic locations. You don’t have to print anything on them; just use them as blank canvasses for your projector.
As for makes and models, there are several types of projectors suitable for advertising. The most common are LED projectors, and you might find handheld mini projectors to be particularly useful for mobile marketing efforts. The same goes for short-throw projectors that use close proximity to create very bright images.
By contrast, you’ll want to avoid home theater projectors. While they have impressive capabilities, including 4K video resolution, they’re meant to be fixed objects that mount to a wall or ceiling and stay there. They aren’t a good option for taking to a rented venue for just a day or two.
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- [Projector With the Latest Technology]: Elephas Movie projector using Germany's OSRAM LED projection technology, 1080P full HD support; Equipped with German emerald glass lens, 24-bit true color(more than 16.77 million colors) support, 200 inches huge screen, provide detailed images for indoor and outdoor entertainment.
- [Projector With Carry Bag & Tripod]:Portable projector with a mini stand and carrying case, it is very convenient to use the projector indoors or outdoors. Mini projector use the efficient heat dissipation system, which greatly reduces fan noise, brings you to concentrate on enjoying your movies. With built-in HIFI speaker, provide excellent sound quality without external speakers, enhance your immersion in the movie experience.
- [Multimedia function]: The projector is equipped with multiple ports, such as USB/HDMI/AV/Audio/ interface, which can be easily connected to a variety of media devices, compatible with Laptop, PCs, TV Box, TV Stick, Chrome Book, Tablets, Blue-ray DVD player, USB Flash Drive, Media players, Smartphones. ❀( Note: Due to HDCP copyright, this movie projector doesn't support Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, But you can get around this with an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku Stick.)
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3. Projection Mapping
Projection mapping is one of the more creative uses of a projector. It’ll require more time and effort than simply pointing your projector box at a blank wall, but when properly utilized, it can create spectacular audio-visual effects.
What is projection mapping? Simply put, it’s overlaying or “mapping” images on irregular surfaces. These surfaces can be as small as objects in a room or as large as the sides of entire buildings. Projection mapping is commonly used to create optical illusions thanks to its three-dimensionality, but it can also serve as a static or larger-than-life projection of a picture, pattern, logo, banner, or advertisement.
Projection mapping is largely accomplished through software. Before you hook up your projector to your video content, you’ll need to configure the content in a way that suits your unusually shaped surface. You can do this manually, but projection mapping software is much easier, and it’ll be familiar to you if you already know the basics of computer-aided design (CAD).
There are several steps to projection mapping, including:
- Measuring or laser-scanning your surface, or “canvas,” to get a full 3D representation of its shape
- Developing content that will fit within the restrictions of your canvas
- Integrating your content with projection mapping software to calculate things like contrast, angles, and pixel density
- Connecting your software, projector, and canvas to create your final product
As you can see, it’s an involved process. However, the payoff can be a visually dynamic presentation that scores you big points on creativity and memorability. Projection mapping can also be integrated with advertising techniques, including experiential marketing, for better business strategies. By turning your ad into a multi-sensory “experience,” you can make it much more memorable than an everyday commercial or billboard. Don’t be afraid to use projection mapping to increase interest in your event and all of its associated ideas, services, and products.
- Laser-Powered Detail: Make your movies shine with the intensity, which is so bright you can even watch with the lights on, then watch every pixel pop in 1080p HD quality.
- Setup is a Snap: Start the movie in seconds with Intelligent Environment Adaptation (IEA) Technology. Analyze your room to avoid furniture or decorations, then watch your screen automatically fit to your space without any disruptions to the action on screen.
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- Abundant Streaming Choices: Android TV 10.0 allows you to see 400,000+ movies and episodes on 7,000+ apps, so you’ll never run out of content. Note: Keep your devices' firmware up to date for the better performance.
4. Augmented Reality
Also known as projected reality or digital decorating, augmented reality (AR) is a special effect that puts computer-generated graphics over the real world. It doesn’t have to involve a projector, and in fact, you’re probably most familiar with non-projected types. If you’ve ever played Pokémon Go, you have experience with augmented reality.
If you do have a projector, however, you can use AR to create amazing presentations that blur the lines between the real and the fake. This is called “projected AR.”
One example of this phenomenon involves projection mapping, and it’s commonly used for prototypes and product launches. You might have a plain mannequin, for example, and project different types of clothes over it. This can showcase your entire fashion collection without the need to bring in dozens of different outfits.
Another type of projected AR involves optical illusions. Optical camouflage, for instance, projects images onto highly reflective materials that can seem invisible to the naked eye. It’s a serious discipline in the aviation industry as they work to eliminate blind spots for their pilots, it’s also used as a fun trick in advertising. You can take advantage of it as well. Just imagine a booth at a convention where you let visitors play around with disappearing objects through projected AR.
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- Stunning picture quality — provides stunning, detailed 1080p images and fast data processing that’s optimized for fast-action sports, gaming and more
- Ultra bright images — 3,300 lumens of color and white brightness deliver outstanding-quality images in a variety of lighting conditions (2)
- Best-in-Class Color Brightness (1) — advanced 3LCD technology displays 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame. This allows for outstanding color accuracy while maintaining excellent color brightness, without any distracting “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues seen with other projection technologies
- All-digital HDMI connectivity — easily connect your cable/satellite box, Blu-ray Disc player, gaming console or streaming device
If you’re looking for cool things to do with a projector, consider turning it into an artistic tool. You can create everything from painted wall murals to animated digital displays of graphic design.
The former is the simplest kind of artwork that you can create with a projector. With this method, you simply project the outline of an image onto a wall or easel. The projector becomes a stencil, and you paint inside of the lines to transport the artwork from the digital realm to the physical world. This can be a particularly fun endeavor if you’re doing something like painting a mural or filling up charts to document sales goals. It’ll be easy, creative, and interactive for whoever is attending your event or meeting. You can also use it as the basis for a time-lapse video to post on social media after your video is complete.
Making digital artwork with a projector is harder, but it can be done. You might create animated displays, for example, that incorporate shifting frames or moving canvases in front of the projector. You can also hark back to projection mapping and create 3D presentations on unusually shaped canvases. From the dazzling lights of lasers to the simplicity of moving GIFs, there are many ways to integrate graphic design with projection technology.
Something else to know about making art with projectors is that there are many different products designed specifically for this purpose. You don’t have to rig up a home theater projector to do something new. You can buy art projectors with special features for tracing, zooming, enlarging photos, magnifying fine details, and reproducing images in high quality.
- OPAQUE LED PROJECTOR: Easy-to-use, lightweight, LED tracing projector with a 200mm optical glass lens for displaying images onto walls or canvases; Use in a dark room for greater clarity; Overall dimensions 5.5" W x 12.75" D x 9" H
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Powered by a high intensity LED light source that runs cooler and longer than CFL bulbs
- BRIGHTER THAN BEFORE: 5,000 Lux provides a brighter image vs. the 600 Lux Original Tracer with an LED board that provides light for 10,000 hours
- PORTABLE PROJECTOR: Take it with you anywhere with included 6.5-foot long cord and a low voltage power adapter (12V, 1.5 AMP), Adapter is UL or ETL Listed
- FOR YOUR CRAFTING SUPPLIES: Enlarges flat artwork from 2 to 14 times the original size onto any wall, canvas, or other vertical surface; 5 x 5 Inch Copy Area; Work in sections with larger designs and prints
6. Cool and Unusual Projectors
Most people know what a home theater projector looks like. However, these little boxes are far from the only projectors on the market.
Outdoor projectors, for instance, often come with screens, speakers, and tripods since it’s assumed that you’ll need extras out in the wild. They’re also available with things like waterproof casings. These projectors can be a nice choice for any outdoor events or expos that you find yourself organizing.
Another option is going truly old-school with opaque projectors, also known as epidiascopes, which can transmit non-reflective images using a series of mirrors and imaging lenses. They have a lot of vintage charm, and while their functionality is limited, you might be able to use them in particular kinds of presentations. You could also haul them in front of an audience to make a point about the evolution of technology and how it changes over the years.
Something to keep in mind about different types of projectors is that they all come with different specs, features, capabilities, and flaws. Even if you’ve already learned how to use a projector, you might have to re-learn with another model. Take some time to practice with them before the day of your presentation.
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7. Live Streaming From the Web
One of the best things about projectors is that they can be connected to a variety of gadgets. Unlike other types of video technology that require HDMI cables, many modern projectors require nothing more than a USB port. Others might have multiple connection options via apps, SD cards, TV boxes, and even wireless networks.
This means that projectors can be compatible with all kinds of live streaming devices. From phones to laptops, it’s easier than ever to connect your projector to the web. You can utilize this connection in numerous ways, including:
- News reports from media outlets
- Ongoing notifications about your event’s schedule or agenda
- Meetings with remote speakers or presenters via Zoom or Google Meet
- “Information radiators” in digital form
- Updates from social media to monitor customer reactions to a big event or product launch
- Photos and videos of the event itself from participants
In addition to creating a lively atmosphere by sharing these things with other event attendees in real-time, you can also use them to gauge interest or drum up support for related ideas. For example, if you’re hosting an in-person and online presentation at the same time, you can argue for the viability of the hybrid work model. If you’re monitoring hashtags and aggregating photos from social networks, you can float around ideas for future marketing campaigns hosted on Twitter or Instagram.
A good projector can allow you to harness the power of live media for your event. Whether it’s live blogging, live streaming, or live tweeting, it’ll be at your fingertips with a projector hooked up to a computer or smartphone.
- Display Stunning Images up to 300" — Widescreen picture four times larger than a 75" flat panel delivers an immersive experience for business presentations, home viewing and beyond
- Compact Design — Sleek, lightweight design easily fits in backpacks for easy portability on the go
- Ultra Bright Images — 3,000 lumens of color and white brightness (1) deliver outstanding-quality images in a variety of lighting conditions
- Best-in-Class Color Brightness (2) — Advanced 3-chip 3LCD technology displays 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame, allowing for outstanding color accuracy while maintaining excellent color brightness without any distracting “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues seen with other projection technologies
- Compatible with Streaming — Connect your preferred streaming solution, such as an Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Android TV (3), to the built-in HDMI port to start streaming your favorite content—easy!
Fun and Engaging Uses of a Projector for All Types of Projects
These are just a few creative ways to present a project with the help of a projector. They range from simple DIY setups to elaborate event projections that will require additional time and technology, but they can all take your ideas to the next level.