"Do you need an in-focus for your meeting?" This was the question I was asked by one of the marketing managers in my first week of working at Apple in Cupertino about ten years ago. "What's an 'in-focus'?" I asked. "You know, a projector to show PowerPoint slides," she replied, with a look on her face that said she clearly thought I was from another planet. Close—I was from Japan. I had just joined Apple that week after living in Japan the previous nine years and I had never heard of InFocus. Epson, SONY, Mitsubishi et al dominate the projector scene in Japan, but I soon learned that — at least in our department at Apple many years ago — InFocus was like the Coca-a-Cola or Kleenex of projectors.
SInce I moved back to Japan I've been using several of the outstanding Japanese projectors. But last summer I received a note from the DIrector of Marketing at InFocus asking if I would come in to see their technology and meet their staff in Portland, Oregon. Since I was going to be in Seattle and the North Oregon Coast in August, I was happy to drive to Portland, the company headquarters, to meet with the InFocus marketing team. I had a great time and was very impressed with their stuff and with the warm reception they gave me; really great people. In the video below Scott Niesen explains how the day went down. (You can see two more videos from my InFocus visit here.)
The guys at Spitball Media joined our meeting at InFocus and made this short video.
With some of the InFocus team at their head offices in Portland, Oregon.
Thoughts on their mobile projectors
I liked what I saw at InFocus so much they ended up giving me three projectors to try out back in Japan. I have been satisfied with the projectors and I am happy to recommend them here. So far I have tried the two mobile projectors designed for the business market, though the InFocus IN1503 (short throw) would be excellent for teachers as well. I hooked up the Short-throw 1503 and the IN1102 Ultra Mobile at home today to see how they looked. Especially at the relatively inexpensive price point (for projectors) of under $1,000 (USD), I think the quality is great.
• InFocus IN1503 Mobile Short-Throw Widescreen
This projector is not super small, but it is light and it is quite easy to carry. What is great about this projector is that it has a "short throw" which means you can set the projector very close to the screen and still get a big image. Text looks crisp and the high-rez photographs looked excellent, and the projector is plenty bright. Even with lights on the screen looked good. In this photo below (in our media room at home, snapped with just an iPhone), you can see that the projector is only about two meters away from the wall but the image fills that entire screen (horizontally more than 2.5 meters). You can get loads of details on this projector on the InFocus website and here on Amazon.com as well.
Even at only six feet away from the wall I had to zoom the picture in a bit on the short throw model to fit the image on a very large screen area.
• InFocus IN1102 Ultra Mobile Widescreen DLP Projector
This mobile projector is not as thin as some of the Japanese models but it is still very small and light. It may just be me, but I thought the image on screen was even better that the short-throw projector (which was also great). The text and the colors of the photographic images were excellent right out of the box, but you can also adjust colors, contrast, etc. as the projector allows you to make fine adjustments easily. I have been using a very nice Sony mobile projector on the road, but I have decided to give that projector to my father in-law (a retired physics teacher who gives lots of astronomy presentations in Japan). I am keeping the N1102 and will test it more thoroughly on the road. It comes with a nice case which will easily fit into my small travel suitcase. In the picture below you can see that I had to push the projector back another meter or so to get an image that still did not fill the entire massive wall. This is normal, of course, but shows just how useful the short throw projector is above when space is super tight. For both projectors the room was bright and yet the images look excellent; there was no need to dim the lights except slightly directly over the screen area. Lots of details about this projector on the InFocus website and on Amazon.com.
The small and bright IN1102 projects a really nice image.
These mobile projectors may not be the smallest in the world, but they are certainly mobile, very light-weight, and both project beautiful images. To give you a feel for the size of the projectors my cat conveniently took a break next to the projectors in their bags which hold all the cables, etc. The combined weight of both projectors is still less than the weight of "Luke" a very large and laid back cat.
"Luke" the cat weighs more that the combined weight of both projectors.
Luke is taller than the projectors even when they are in their bags. Of course, Luke is one big house cat.