What happens when you take a pico projector — which have previously been packed into all sorts of devices, including phones — and put it into a wireless hotspot instead? You’d get Sprint’s LivePro, manufactured by ZTE, which goes on sale this Friday for $450.
Combining a 10-foot projector with 1280 x 800 resolution, an LTE mobile hotspot and Android 4.2, the device is certainly interesting. It can even run Android apps — say, Netflix — on the included 4-inch WVGA touchscreen. The puck-sized gadget comes with a 5000mAh battery that can also provide power to a phone, although how long that can pump out projected video remains to be seen.
The Sprint LivePro has HDMI and audio-out jacks in addition to a built-in speaker. That gives users the option of uhjsing the device by itself, or plugging it into a TV or sound system. The Android part of the gadget is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon and 1GB of RAM and has Google Play access.
Sprint seems to be angling this product toward business customers who need a projector on the road, but I can see it also being a video-focused tablet-replacement for families with kids. Pico projectors are very cool, and are continually getting less expensive; it’s just a matter of how they’re used. It’s really easy to make a gimmicky pico projector product. In my opinion, combining one with a hotspot makes a lot more sense than a projector and phone combo.