Image-Caching Projector

By Deane Barker on July 13, 2004

Here’s an idea I came up with while on a walk tonight. There’s a 50-percent chance it’s already been invented — if it has, tell me where to find it.

The world needs a PC projector that will cache the displayed image. Say I’m tooling through my presentation in front of Mr. Venture Capitalist and I suddenly need to find something on a Web site.

Now, I don’t want Mr. VC to see me fumbling around the Web (I’m supposed to know what I’m doing, right?), so the only choice I have is to shut off the projector or suspend the connection from the laptop so that I can Google without being displayed to the room. Room goes dark, there’s an uncomfortable silence, and it’s painfully obvious that everyone is waiting on me.

But what if I could freeze the image displayed from the projector? That way, VC and Co. could continue to look at the last slide I was showing them (my partner would chime in here with something witty to take the focus off me) and I could search away.

When I finally found what I needed and my screen looked like I wanted it to, I could resume the projector. Extra points if I could fade in from the last displayed image to my current screen.

Does this exist? If so, show me. If not, I just gave away a million dollar idea. That should be engraved on my tombstone.



  1. Just last week I saw a 3rd party product that did exactly that. It grabbed video output, no matter what the source was.

    Sorry, no idea what brand or anything.

  2. You don’t need to show on the projector what’s on the screen of yout laptop. Just set the projector as your secondary display in the display preferences like you would do if you had two monitors side by side.

  3. Well, most current (and last-gen) laptops can dual-head with the internal LCD being one display, and the external VGA out being the other.

    Done it both on an Armada M700 and an Armada N600.

  4. There are several ways to do this.

    1. Most projectors now have a “freeze” function.
    2. You could set up the projector as a second display.
    3. If you are on a PC fn+a function key toggles between laptop only or laptop and projector display. Normally the projector would then go to black or blue. On some projectors you can load a static graphic to go to when there is no input signal.
  5. Dell has a projector that will “freeze” the screen image while you fumble around in the background on your laptop trying to find the coolest thing on the web.

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