Back when we first got a look at Sony’s Xperia ojector at last year’s Mobile rld Congress, it seemed like the brightest idea in a sea of concepts that will likely never be seen again. More than a simple projector, the device turned any table or wall into a touch-enabled screen, letting you swipe manipulate apps screens as if you were using a 23-inch phone.
But what seemed futuristic then has now become reality. At this year’s M, Sony has turned the Xperia ojector into a real product with an official name a shipping date. Called Xperia Touch, the Android 7.0-powered tabletop device is due to hit shelves this summer, it could be the first must-have gadget from Sony in years.
ong with its new name, the 5-inch device sports a new look as well. Something of a cross between a toaster a top-loading CD burner, the Xperia Touch is wrapped in a textured silver shell that features a control strip at the top. It includes an array of sensors built into its small frame—including G, ambient light, barometer, temperature, humidity, human detection—as well as a 13Mcamera two-way stereo speaker that all work together to turn any flat surface into a fully interactive touch screen. If you’re sitting at a table, the viewing area will be 23 inches, but when projecting onto a wall it can exp the image up to 80 inches.
The interface is built using Android 7.0 Sony’s own SXRD projection display technology to enable touch “through a combination of infrared light real-time detection via its built-in camera, at a rate of 60 frames per second.” The abilities are virtually unlimited, exping to a variety of apps, games, , of course, movies.
The home screen won’t look like a usual Nougat one, however, as Sony had adapted it for the experience to provide an array of widgets, including weather forecasts, a virtual memo board, calendar integration, a Skype portal for video chatting. It will also be able to run games via ayStation 4 Remote ay, as well as any app downloaded from the ay Store.
ile U.S. pricing hasn’t been released, Sony has said the Xperia Touch will cost 1499 euros when it launches in pan Europe this summer. A U.S. release is planned as well.
The big picture: The tiny computers in our pockets can only do so much, companies are already starting to look beyond the capabilities of 5- or 6-inch screens. The Moto Z’s Insta-Share mod is certainly intriguing, but all it really does is make the screen easier to view. Sony’s Xperia Touch offers more than just an exped image, it lets people interact with it just as they would with physical objects. Of course, it remains to be seen how fluid responsive the interface actually is, but the technology is intriguing, bringing the experience of a smartphone into a collaborative, social environment. Mind you, $1500 isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s still a new piece of technology, as it develops, it could one day transform the way we learn, work, communicate.