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October 20, 2009
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John Rivera Technology Helpdesk
with John Rivera

P1 Tech Help: Perfect pocket projectors for police

About two months ago I wrote about pocket projectors and their possible use in law enforcement. I mentioned 3M, Dell, Toshiba, and Aiptek but soon discovered there are also other manufacturers who produce projectors in different sizes, weights and prices.

I was contacted by a representative from 3M who appreciated the mention of the company in my PoliceOne article and requested that I evaluate a 3M MPro120 pocket projector and sent one to me.

The moment I looked at it I knew that any person who does any kind of presentation should have one. The package included a large battery and a charger that can be adapted for different voltage by installing one of the four different plugs included in the package. Once the battery is installed and charged it can power the projector for up to one hundred and twenty minutes before recharging is needed.

A cable is included to provide the connection to a computer. The cable also doubles as a sound cable that can be inserted to the sound output of the computer. The projector has two .5 watt small internal speakers that surprisingly have fair sound quality for its size.

Also included is an audio/visual cable set to hook up to a video recorder, digital camera, iPod, or even a cellular telephone. My son saw the pocket projector and thought it was “ultra cool” (his words). We were able to connect his 360 Xbox to the pocket projector and play for a few minutes. My son mentioned the visual aspect of the projector was beer than the TV he usually plays on, a particularly fine flattering remark to the projector and its capabilities especially when you consider its small size.

The last several items included in the box, are a carry pouch and flex tripod to hold the projector off a surface. You see just like any projector they get hot and need air circulation that keeps it cool and extend the life of the bulb.

I truly believe these pocket projectors are a must-have for at least a few of the officers in any department. Projectors of this size are perfect to show a photo or video in an interview room, a video or photo line-up during shift briefings and potentially have many other law enforcement uses. Devices like this one are optimal for an audience of one to five people and are not meant to substitute the projectors used for a large audience in a large room.

As I mentioned in the earlier article, prices can range between $120.00 to several thousand dollars. If I was looking to purchase one, I would evaluate the size of my target audience and purchase accordingly.

Of course, the projectors have uses for other than law enforcement and can be used to show digital pictures, movies, and as I mentioned before play a video game or two.

Until next time, stay safe.

About the author

John Rivera is a Patrol Officer with the Bremerton Police Department. John’s career BPD started as a Volunteer Reserve Officer and while he volunteered his time as a reserve officer he work as Police Officer at Naval Base Kitsap. He was hired full time in 2006 and attended the Washington State Police Academy. While at the academy, John was selected as the class “Techy” to help with the technologically deficient class instructors. Before John’s law enforcement career, he gained his computer experience through earning a degree in Computer Programming and then working in the computer industry as a Network Administrator and Systems Engineer for several companies.

Contact John Rivera

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