Kano is a household name when it comes to STEM-focused products, and last year launched the STEM Player in collaboration with Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West. Well, this year, Kano is ditching the Ye-affiliation and bringing an entirely new product category to market for the company with the STEM Projector. This portable projector is fairly unique in several ways, including having a cellular connection, the ability to customize video playback, AirPlay and Chromecast video playback, and much more…for $1,000. Is it worth it? Keep reading to find out more.
STEM Projector has a high cost and unique feature set
The STEM Projector isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to cost, but it does bring a very interesting function to your portable movie-watching setup. Being battery-powered, the STEM Projector is said to last four or five hours on a single charge at full brightness, though its full brightness only reaches around 300 lumens, which isn’t all that bright compared to other portable projectors on the market.
However, brightness and battery life aren’t the only places where the STEM Projector shines. The top of this unique spherical device has a touch ring that you can use for various functions. For starters, the wheel will allow you to spin and randomly select a movie to watch. Unique, for sure. It also changes the roundness of the corners of whatever you’re watching, going from slightly rounded like an older TV to a complete circle depending on what you want, all without really changing the aspect of the projected media. So, you’ll lose out on some peripheral content in the movie, but be able to experience it in an entirely new way. The top touch ring also allows you to remix and customize videos. As demoed on the site, you can change the coloring of media that’s being played live, even though we’d never recommend changing a classic such as the Wizard Of Oz. The customization doesn’t end with only changing the coloring of the media, as you’ll be able to rotoscope characters, adjust the speed, and more.
For I/O, there’s basically all you can need on a modern projector. The Mini HDMI allows things like consoles or anything else, and the audio jack allows for hooking up external speakers. Plus, there’s an SD slot onboard for local media playback and stereo speakers built-in so you can use it entirely standalone.
The built-in kickstand lets you adjust the angle of the projector with ease, and the included case delivers the ability to project on the ceiling as well. Overall, the STEM Projector can fit in your hand, making it a compact unit to bring with you anywhere.
Curious about the pricing? Well, the first 1,000 units will cost $1,000 in a limited-edition “sediment” colorway and is slated to begin shipping in the spring. However, after those limited-edition models sell out, the STEM Projector is reportedly going to drop to a normal $600 going rate, though that timeframe is yet to be determined.
Kano seems to have found the Ye partnership not worth it over the past year and is entering 2023 without ties to the troubled artist. However, the STEM Projector is not without its own problems too – namely, price and function.
You can get 300-lumen projectors for far less than $1,000 and, in that price range, find ones that offer far more features overall. So, the STEM Projector really has to earn its keep if it wants to be in that premium range of cost. With the supposed feature sets, it does make itself different from the pack in terms of projectors. However, it’s yet to be seen whether or not these features, like the dial on top to pick a random movie, changing the coloring of projected media, and having the rotoscope function, will be worth the premium asking price.
FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links