Projecteo: A tiny projector for your Instagram Photos

by Maxwell Tielman


As somebody who has studied photography and works, to some extent, with photography professionally, I sometimes find it rather odd that my go-to camera is my iPhone and my top method of sharing is Instagram. A testament to the quality of images that these tiny pocket-sized phone cameras are able to produce, it’s amazing how rapidly they have replaced the standard consumer-level camera. With the ability to take shockingly good photos and apply any number of post-processing effects, the sheer convenience of the phone camera now outweighs having to lug around a clunky DSLR everywhere. As much as I love Instagram, Hipstamatic, and apps of that ilk, I sometimes still long for more analogue ways of showing my photos off. I’ve been printing Instagrams on my own for some time now (see our recent post about Instagram prints), but occasionally there’s a product or service that takes this concept to the next level. Projecteo, for instance, is a recent Kickstarter success that combines digital images with classic 35mm developing techniques to produce Instagram slides that can be projected onto your wall. All you need to do is send in your photos and Projecteo will print them onto a miniature slide wheel using a single frame of 35mm film. The wheel can then be inserted into Projecteo’s pocket-sized mini projector, a device that, although quite tiny, uses the same projection technology as its larger counterparts.

Of his fabulous invention, Projecteo’s founder Ben Redford writes,

The spark for Projecteo came when I found a Rollei P35 projector in a London market. When I took it home, I was enthralled by the warmth of the images it projected. There’s no digital image that can match it. When I took it apart, I saw that the mechanics could be miniaturised. I thought that using Instagram images would bring this magical warmth to how we take photos now.

The developing process seems magical and mysterious to me. Chemicals reacting in vats of liquid to make incredibly rich, beautiful, and unique images still fills me with a sense of awe. It also reminds me of being a kid. My Mum and Dad used to have loads of slides and I used to love the excitement of going through them.

Magical certainly seems an apt term to describe this lovely amalgamation of old and new technology. Although Instagram works to impart a bit of old-fashioned flair to photos, Projecteo takes it to entirely new heights—allowing you to view your images as if through a time machine. Its tiny size also allows it to function as a great gift or stocking stuffer! Check out more photos of Projecteo after the jump! —Max

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  • So glad I pressed the ‘read more’ button- I was shocked to see how tiny it is!! This is the cutest thing… Now where to get one…

  • I was also surprised to see the size. It is compact and easy to carry with you. It will be great to have in my bag for a presentation. The best news is the price is reasonable. Fabulous post.

  • Why wasn’t this Made in America?

    Know what you are buying. The image quality might be somewhat less than you might expect


  • Hi Grace,

    Sorry I wasn’t completely clear.

    Firstly please let me say that I am not a professional reviewer, expert nor should anyone rely on what I say. Please make your own decision. I truly hope the manufacturer is successful in selling this interesting little device.

    My comment was made after reading some of the above replies. My thought was, if one wishes to showcase their wares this device will do that but why not use a neat, portable device one already might have in their pocket or purse by putting nice photographs of one’s stuff on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

    I still wish they would have chosen to have it Made in America.


  • I don’t get it. Why not just buy a pico projector? At $35 a pop, you can save for a a pico projector that you can hook up your mobile devices for about $100 and use it for much much much more.

  • I backed this project on kickstarter, so I actually have one of these. I don’t think it’s so much an issue of image quality, the image is actually not bad when in focus, it’s more that the maximum projected size in focus is really pretty small, maybe 2 inches, and at that size it’s starting to lose the edges to vignetting, because the led isn’t powerful enough. I think the description that you can project onto your wall is a little misleading. You know those little square plastic tube photo with a magnifying lens souvenir key chains you used to get at amusement parks in the 80s, to me, projecteo replaces those, but with the aded bonus that you can change the pictures up. It really doesn’t replace projectors or slideshows. Don’t get me wrong, I like mine. I’m glad I kickstarted it and it’s a cool gimmick, it’s just not exactly the, ‘project if on the wall’ it’s pitched as.

    I have no idea how much they are selling the projecteo units for now that kickstarter has completed, but these would make a really sweet save the date (for those who really wanted to do the view master thing, but couldn’t justify the crazy amount of money that costs.) Oh, and I saw an update from them recently, that you can actually pop off the projector lens and use it to take macro photos with your phone, which is also pretty cool.

    To the ‘why not made in the US’ guy; I believe that the person behind this project is UK based, not US. So, should not the question be, why not made in the UK?

  • @ Chloe said: “To the ‘why not made in the US’ guy; I believe that the person behind this project is UK based, not US. So, should not the question be, why not made in the UK?”


    I couldn’t agree more. I thought about that after my post Chloe. I forgot the Internet and Design*Sponge has an international audience.

    I am not trying to be arrogant or an Ugly American please consider it as my National Pride showing. If the group is from the UK it should then be made there. As a Small Business person my feeling is to support one’s own local economy and jobs in ones own country. Our business and income depends on that simple idea.


  • I’m even more glad I came back and re-read these comments! I was thinking of purchasing this for a preteen, but based on the great comments above I am rethinking it… Kudos to everyone for presenting their opposing opinions in a responsible manner

  • George, this is Ugly American showing. And quite frankly, if you’re going to be down on a product’s quality, just because it’s made in another country, you need to look closely at yourself. And I hope that every single product you own in made in America – must be a hard life not having a phone or computer. Funny that you can channel your disgust at overseas products into posting on this topic.