Let’s face it: most projectors aren’t very useful outside of home theaters or boardrooms, even if they’re packing some smarts. Beam may get you to change your mind, though. Its namesake Android-powered projector runs apps, streams media from your mobile gear (through AirPlay or Miracast) and starts tasks based on the time or what you’re doing. You can play a video message when someone gets home, for instance, or load Netflix as soon as you turn on Bluetooth speakers. However, the design is the real party trick. While the 854 x 480 resolution and 100 lumen brightness are no great shakes, you can screw Beam into any standard light socket — you don’t have to hunt for a free wall outlet (or even a wall) if you’re just looking to show off some vacation photos.
Be prepared to pay a hefty amount for this clever and slightly eccentric display. Beam is crowdfunding its project, and you’ll have to pledge between $349 and $399 to score the device if and when it ships in October. It might be worth the wait if you were already looking for a projector, though. After all, how many of its competitors can take over your desk lamp?