Oregon Scientific's Portable WiFi Projector comes with a hinge, flirts with your ceiling

A projector from Oregon Scientific, you say? Nope, it's not one of those clock and weather projectors, but rather an actual DLP pico projector. At CES 2012, the company was kind enough to show us an early prototype of its Portable WiFi Projector that'll handle FWVGA (854 x 480) at 1,000:1 contrast and a good 80 lumens of brightness (50 if powered by USB alone). Apparently at 3.2 meters from the wall, such combination should produce a clear 120-inch wide picture in total darkness, so we shall see. The final unit -- dummy pictured above -- will be slightly smaller than the working prototype, yet it'll pack a 90-degree hinge (not a first, of course), a focus slide, a 3.5mm headphone jack and some buttons for brightness, power and volume.

Speaking of which, the concave top of the base is actually a funky touch-based controller for the brightness and volume: slide your fingertip towards the center to take things down a notch, and slide outwards to crank them up. As for audio, you'll have to place the base on a hard surface to let its vibration speaker do the job. The audio effect will obviously depend on the surface material, but apparently the projector's pouch will also serve as a backup sounding surface if all else fails.

While our demo used a wired connection, the final product -- as suggested by its name -- will utilize a direct WiFi connection with smartphones, though you'll need to install Oregon Scientific's app to make the magic happen. Android shouldn't be a problem, though we do wonder if Apple will actually approve said app since there's no love for AirPlay here.

There's still a long way to go for this neat little beamer -- we were told to expect it in the second half of 2012, which should give plenty of time to save up for the estimated $640 price tag. Yes, very ouch.