Apple Inc. has filed patents on technology that could integrate small projectors on future models of the iPhone as well as MacBooks.
Besides adding to functionality, the move also could threaten traditional makers of projectors such as InFocus of Portland, Ore., the current leader. InFocus last month announced its IN1100 series of projectors for the tablet sector. However, they weigh 2.7 pounds.
Apple's filing was reported by Patently Apple, which said it had been filed in early 2010 under the title "Projected display shared workspaces." The rationale is to enable users to "share data stored on electronic devices with other people," the filing said.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., didn't indicate when any integrated platform would be available.
An older Apple patent from 2007 explored the concept of merging a projector with a laptop PC.
Apple shares rose about 3 percent to $374.35 in late Thursday trading.