by Mark Linville
Somehow Jorge Colman, while juggling classes and homework, found time to invent. The School of Computing and Engineering junior developed an audio/video transmitter that allows iPhone 4 and iPad users to display their device on a TV, monitor or projector. Based on lessons from his Mechanical Engineering 130 course and with support from Assistant Teaching Professor Katherine Bloemker, Colman, who had been contemplating the transmitter idea for a while, decided to bring it to life. “Since we had to present a project for the class, I decided to design the transmitter,” he says. And from there, he went to work creating a prototype. According to Bloemker, this project is just the beginning for Colman. “He has a bright future ahead of him,” she says.
The transmitter connects to the device as simply as a cable into the charging port, which makes for easy setup. Colman says the wireless transmitter sends information to the receiver, which is connected to a TV set. The current prototype transmits a resolution of 480 pixels (units of an image), which Colman plans on upgrading to full HD 1080p. With one patent pending, Colman has another transmitter in development, the iCast. The new model will be available for iPads and iPhone, HTC Evo, Droid X, Galaxy Tabs and video cameras. “Jorge’s invention is a testament to the great things our students and alumni can do,” Bloemker says. “We have a lot of students with new ideas, and Jorge is the perfect example of what can happen if you believe in your idea and put effort into seeing it realized.”
Colman, who grew up without much exposure to computers, was inspired to pursue electrical and computer engineering because of his love for robots and electronics. He got his first taste of computers from his neighbor, a TV and radio repairman. “I would bring his leftover components to my house and experiment with them,” Colman says. He also had a knack for dismantling his family’s and friends’ TV sets at his parents’ expense. Colman will make his transmitter available to the public after he develops a business plan with the help of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management’s Entrepreneurship Scholars program. He says he hopes to eventually start his own company and sell the transmitter to the public. Next semester, Colman will present his business idea through the Bloch School’s Venture Creation Challenge.