Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Shoebox Projector

It worked!
A super simple shoebox projector for the phone!

I cannot tell you why this excites me so much. It just does.
Of course I know that there is probably a wire that you can use to connect your phone to the TV to watch a slide show from your phone in bigger and better quality.

It's possibly just the experience, and the simplicity that excites me. Even though we followed a variety of instructions online, it felt like we were inventing something ourselves.

And of course, there is some unexplained element of nostalgia and something else that I can't put my finger on when you darken the room to view poor quality images projected onto a wall.
This is all we needed:

A shoebox that we painted black on the inside. (This was unnecessary.)
A small, GLASS magnifying glass.
Scissors or cutting knife.
Black tape.
Lego stand or paper clip stand for the phone.
White card or wall for projections.

We mostly followed instructions from here.
But there a ton of instructions available on the net to choose from.
I also needed to look up instructions on how to lock the phone images from turning, how to start slide show mode in the phone (So easy) and how to reverse the phone's images so they are projected correctly.  (I haven't mastered this one yet.)

Our first attempt is on the right.
I was a bit greedy and got the biggest, highest magnifying glass I could. Thinking this would make a great big projection. 
It does.
But there isn't a room big enough for this projection.
But I might play around some more.
We got a smaller magnifying glass from the model train exhibitors stalls for about £3 and then made the smaller version.

It. Is. That. Easy.
We didn't even tape the magnifying glass into the hole that we had cut as it seemed to fit snugly.
But because this is an easily transportable projector, it would be wise to tape it in if you would be moving it around a lot.

But it is quite a small projection area.
I took these photos in the darkest corner behind the sofa, but with enough light to get the idea of the set up.
When viewing, we had things pitch black.

Without the lid on.
The kids understood how it was working better than I did.

Just a simple Lego stand- like a mini cookbook stand- it has a ledge on the front too.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that when you put the phone into slide show mode, it automatically uses music from your collection to play along with it.

Below was filmed in real darkness.
You can see that we haven't mastered reversing images and at that time we were projecting onto a free standing, slightly curved card. (I get so excited and sometimes find it hard to take the time to do things with precision.)
Yes, it is poor quality.
But it was fun and easy.

Now I don't want to diss anyone's invention, and anyway it is super cute, but have you seen these adverts for Projecto?

Projecteo from Projecteo on Vimeo.
They are adorable, especially with the added element of a retro Viewmaster style slide cartridge.
But I think that the shoebox projector does pretty much the same thing, for around £4?

The kids are bewitched with is as well. One is looking forward to projecting a movie from it in his bed one night.
I won't point out that it wouldn't be much bigger and will be poorer quality than watching it straight off the phone.
Because I get it.
It is gimmicky. And it is cool. And it's a novelty.

I had given the kids the phone to take pictures with leading up to the slide show, so this was a great, spring break project and they enjoyed seeing their pictures on show.

1 comment:

Talk to me!