Making projectors more social?

So many of us get frustrated with projectors. When you connect your display cable, the image doesn’t show, or it’s stretched, or it’s cut off. You try to troubleshoot but as the audience is waiting quietly, you have to give up and blame the projector.

Projectors are interesting to us because they imply a social activity, but are not in fact social. You need to use a projector in front of an audience that is looking at you — but is the current design appropriate? How can we go about designing such a technology?

Our ethnographic research approach is particularly useful for understanding, and addressing, these sorts of problems.

We conducted a short study of projector use at PARC — 2 weeks of data collection, followed by analysis — to observe how people use the technology and uncover the social issues that would dictate an improved design/ social interaction.

Check out this video; the next step is to conduct an in-depth study and explore new designs.



 Editor: Sonal Chokshi

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for¬†Commercialization.


Our scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.