Facebook PixelMultiple smartphone multimedia display session
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Multiple smartphone multimedia display session

Image credit: https://meetingtomorrow.com/blog/how-to-connect-a-laptop-to-a-projector/

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Povilas S
Povilas S Dec 04, 2022
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An app or (better) a built-in feature of smartphone operating systems that creates a Bluetooth-enabled session connecting many smartphones to display the content of any of them through a multimedia projector or on a TV or computer screen. There's a quick and convenient on/off "button" to activate your phone for sharing whenever you want and deactivate it afterwards.
Why?
  • This would be useful in both casual (a house party, a family meeting, etc.) and official (university seminar, work meeting, etc.) gatherings. Whenever anyone in the group gets inspired/needs to show something on their phone (be it on the internet or local files like pictures), they "bring their phone forward" with a simple tap of an icon and its content appears on a TV or a projector screen.
  • No need to circle the phone around for everyone to check it out or gather around that person and try to see/read something on the small screen. Such cases usually end up in that person showing the content to one or a few people sitting closest to them or to those they know the most or those willing to see it the most. Or it might be that the person drops the idea to share something with others entirely because of the latter.
  • Having convenient means to enable anyone willing to show something and others to be guaranteed to see it encourages people to be willing to share.
  • Connecting and disconnecting the phone through Bluetooth takes time and even though it's usually just a few seconds, doing this often would soon get annoying. Also, Bluetooth connections often tend to malfunction once one device is disconnected and another is trying to connect.
How it works:
All the participants of the gathering connect their phones to a multimedia display device through Bluetooth. An icon in the drop-down menu of each phone then appears tapping on which activates the displaying of the content of your phone's screen on a TV, computer, or projector screen.
Once the person showed whatever they wanted to, they tap the icon again and their phone's screen gets "muted". Now any other person can do the same. The phones stay connected to the common multimedia display device throughout the gathering.
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General comments

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola2 months ago
I think the idea is not far from AirPlay and other streaming devices/services. In my home, we often AirPlay something on TV. Since we all have done it before, all our phones (four of them) are confirmed on the TV and require literally 2 seconds to connect and start sharing. Being connected to the same WiFi makes it easier to stay connected than using Bluetooth which would extra drain your battery. I am not sure how advantageous is this method but am keen on hearing your arguments.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 months ago
J. Nikola Thanks for informing. I didn't know those existed. I did some web search on the topic but concluded that it’s easy when it comes to screen mirroring of one phone but not multiple devices.
Airplay seems really cool, cause it allows not only screen mirroring, but also sharing music on multiple speakers and mirroring the screen of one smartphone on another smartphone.
However, my idea was to allow anyone with a smartphone to mirror their phone's screen on a larger screen for everyone to see at any casual or organized gathering so that it wouldn't require in-advance preparations, synchronizing phones, etc. To make it as simple as possible. So the advantages over existing screen mirroring technologies would be these:
Bluetooth is universal on all smartphones, so no matter if you have an iPhone or an android device, everyone can join the same session. Perhaps all modern TVs and multimedia projectors also have a Bluetooth connection. You also don't need Wi-Fi to be present in the place, in case there is none, people can use mobile data to access the internet, or share local files.
I'm also not sure how quick the connecting and disconnecting ("muting") of one phone's screen to be able to switch to another phone is on Airplay and other existing screen mirroring technologies. Ideally, it should be as easy as one tap on your phone’s screen. The best would be if you wouldn’t need additional app to allow screen sharing, but this would be a built-in feature of both the apple and android operating systems, maybe an addition to a Bluetooth function. It could then work with music sharing as well - connect all phones to the same Bluetooth source, keep them connected throughout the gathering and only activate/deactivate one of them at a time whenever someone wants to share something with a single tap of an icon.
This is the closest to my idea I’ve found so far. But it requires an additional device. It also only allows connecting 6 devices at a time. Do you know what’s the maximum number of connected devices allowed on Airplay? Let’s say you have a meeting of 20 people. That would be a problem.
I'll edit the idea to focus on the novel aspects.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 months ago
Okay, seems my idea with a simple Bluetooth extension won't do it, cause currently, you can connect only up to 7 devices to the same Bluetooth source. This is not bad already, but not 10 or 20 devices as would be required in larger gatherings. Hopefully, later Bluetooth versions will allow more. It might also be that this is not because of technical limitations, but because of the lack of need for this from the users' side. So in the context of this idea, it would make sense to allow more connections.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola2 months ago
Povilas S I agree with the advantages you mentioned. Not needing to have WiFi is definitely an advantage. I am not sure that you can have more devices simultaneously connected to, for example, a TV, via AirPlay, but every user can just click to send the content on the TV and it will be there. It's an advantage and a downside because somebody else's content will be stopped and the one that is just sent played. Maybe a cool feature for an Airplay could be the queue.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 months ago
J. Nikola Sending content is one thing, it's similar to a sharing function as I understand, the way you can share it on social media or DM to your friend, you can send it to a TV screen for group viewing. Screen mirroring is different, it's when all your actions on the device are visible on another screen like a TV or multimedia projector screen. My idea is about screen mirroring. This way you can also show things that are not directly sharable, like a particular paragraph of an online article or how to set a particular function in phone's settings, anything you'd show on your smartphone.
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