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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Pocket Display Projector  
  A pocketsized projector capable of displaying high resolution images so they can be viewed by a group of people.  

In Jack Vance's 1971 novel, The Anome, Gastel Etzwane has recruited the assistance of the mysterious Earthman, Ifness, to help him identify the Anome (the 'Faceless Man') by comparing digital photographs taken at different events they have staged to attract the shadow-ruler's curiosity:

Ifness drew from his pocket a tube of dull black metal an inch in diameter, four inches long. Along the flattened top a number of knobs caught the light and glittered in Ifness' hand. He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.

Etzwane had never seen a photograph so detailed. He glimpsed several views of the Corporation Plaza, then Ifness made new adjustments, sending a thousand images flickering against the wall. The picture became still, to depict Pandemon Park and the people who had come to hear the 'anonymous adventurer'.

"Look carefully at these faces," said Ifness. "Unfortunately I can't show these pictures and those from Fontenay's Inn in juxtaposition; we must shift from one set to another."

The picture changed once more. "It is now four to five minutes before the Discriminators arrived. I would suppose the Faceless Man to be in the room. He would stand where he could watch his Benevolence." Ifness expanded the cone of light, magnifying the images, sending some to the ceiling, some to the floor. Moving the projector, he brought the faces one at a time to the wall beside Etzwane.

Etzwane pointed. "The man in the far corner leaning against the bar."

Ifness expanded the image. They looked at the face. It was a quiet face, broad of forehead, clever of eye, small of chin and mouth. Ifness flicked back to Pandamon Park. Etzwane pointed out the small man with the pursed mouth and the clever sidelong eyes.

"There he is."

From The Anome, by Jack Vance.
Published by Dell in 1971
Additional resources -

Thanks to writer & editor Dominic Brown for sending this one along.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Anome
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
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  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

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