February 27, 2015
The Beam is part LED lightbulb and part projector. Users can screw it into a light socket or place it on a flat surface and project content anywhere. The small-scale device has an onboard computer to access content on the Web. It can also project games or movies from a smartphone or tablet. The smart projector has a corresponding iOS and Android app for operation and programming commands. Beam Labs Inc. is offering the $399 Beam device as part of its Kickstarter campaign that ends March 24.
The Beam can be programmed to be more than just a projector. The corresponding app allows users to program “if this, then that” commands. For example, at a specific time, the Beam could start showing social media updates. Owners could set a specific video message to play when an Airbnb renter opens the front door, reports Wired.
Besides being a personal assistant, there are other ways the Beam could be put to use. It could turn almost any surface in the house into a user interface. The kitchen table could become a board game. Cooks could use the Beam to project recipes onto a counter or wall, instead of having to precariously balance their cookbooks as they fire up the stove. Netflix could stream above the bathtub.
Beam’s Kickstarter goal was to raise $200,000, but the company has already raised nearly three times that amount. The campaign ends in March and the first of the $399 Beam projectors will start shipping to backers in October.