Beam Labs recently jumped on Kickstarter to raise funds for a new project called Beam. The device is an Android-based projector that can turn any flat surface into a large screen. Although there are plenty of projectors on the market to choose from, this model is unique in that it can screw into any light socket, whether it's a lamp, a ceiling light or any other bulb-lit device or appliance.
So what can you do with this bulb-shaped projector? The device is based on Android, which means that owners can watch their favorite movies and TV shows stored on Google Play. They can also play games, watch videos via the VLC app, check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds, conduct a video conversation via Skype and more. The device even supports Airplay and Miracast.
In addition to the Android media, Beam will also perform specific IF/THEN tasks to make the user's life a little easier. For instance, if the user comes home at a specific time, then Beam can load up his/her social updates and project them on a wall. Beam provides Bluetooth connectivity, so if the user turns on his/her Bluetooth speakers, then the device could automatically load up a Netflix movie or music stored on Google Play.
According to a list of hardware specifications, the Beam device features 12 LED lights, two 2W speakers, Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, 8 GB of internal storage, a dual-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, an LED Pico projector with an 854 x 480 resolution and a projection life of up to 20,000 hours. To control Beam, users must download a designated app from Google Play or Apple's App Store.
"We took great care to create a designed object that can earn its own space in every room, without being noticed on a first glance. Our team designed a product with a modern minimalistic look," the Kickstarter page stated. "It feels like a modern lamp, but when you look closer you notice there is more to this lamp than you thought."
The Kickstarter project has a few "stretch" goals. If the company sells 800,000 units, then the internal memory will be upgraded to 16 GB. After selling 900,000 units, the company will offer additional cable colors (the cable allows Beam to hang like a chandelier). One million units will see the addition of a new color for Beam, and the 2 million goal will add colored LEDs that the user can control.
So what's the cost? Those in the Founders Club will be required to shell out $349 for the device, while Early Bird contributors will pay $369 for the projector. There are also other pledge levels including "Whole Shebang" for $450 or more, "Double the Fun" for $750 or more, "Screw Five On It" for $1,950 or more, and so on. The retail cost will be $399 when the Beam projector launches in October 2015.
At press time, the Kickstarter project has lured in 188 backers pledging $66,207. The project has 33 days to go and is looking to reel in $200,000 before Tuesday, March 24.