Bore your relatives and show vacation photos with this DIY smartphone projector

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Did you grow up watching vacation photos projected on a wall but couldn’t find a reason to invest in a Pico projector for your smartphone? The MacGyvers at Photojojo have come up with a makeshift projector that you could fashion out of an old shoebox and a magnifying glass.

To make your own projector box, you’ll need to darken the inside of the shoebox and cut a hole for the magnifying glass. Once you’ve affixed the lens, secure it in place with some electrical tape or duct tape to completely seal it for any light leaks.

Projecting is a simple matter of pointing your shoebox at a wall and moving your smartphone forwards or backwards in the box until the image focuses. You’ll also want to set the brightness on your phone to the maximum, lock the screen rotation, and set it down so that your pictures appear upside down. And voila, you can show off your Instagrams like the old photo slides they were post-processed to be.


This project is actually an improved version of a shoebox projector we spotted back in late 2011, except in Photojojo's version, you paint the inside of the box black and use electrical tape to secure the lens instead of a hot glue gun.

You might think that a smartphone would make for a poor projector, since the screen’s illumination usually stops short after about three inches. The trick here is that the magnifying glass is a two-sided convex lens which grabs the light from the display and condenses it into a sharp and brighter image.

Be sure to check out Photojojo for the step-by-step guide on how to build your own shoebox projector.

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This story, "Bore your relatives and show vacation photos with this DIY smartphone projector" was originally published by TechHive.

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