This spring you will be able to purchase Sony’s latest addition to its gadget arsenal. But what is so special about this new cool gadget by Sony? The Xperia Touch will be able to use infrared sensors to prop a touchscreen interface on basically any flat surface. This new projector technology by Sony was launched at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain.
The Sony Xperia Touch is basically a short-throw projector that uses SXRD projection technology along with infrared sensors, and a camera that detects real time movements. The device can project on to any flat surface, be it a wall, a table top or even your kitchen counter, instantly turning it into an Android Tablet that responds to your touch. The device’s sensors and camera detect hand movements, allowing users to scroll through YouTube videos, click on links and even zoom in and out. Its camera works at 60 frames per second or fps, which means that it is “fast, fluid and responsive to physical touch”, as described by Sony. The 13 MP camera can also be used for video calls. The device also comes with two way speakers.
Xperia Touch projects the interface horizontally as well as vertically, allowing users to watch movies on the 720p display projection on any horizontal flat surface. However, users will not be able to operate using the touch surface when the projection is made horizontally as the sensors will not detect the movements in such a position. A controller can be used when the projection is made horizontally.
Sony has created its own User Interface (UI) for the device, which offers real time weather update, memo board, calendar and social media access. Family members can also leave notes for each other using the projector.
The Xperia Touch has been designed to be used in bright and dark conditions. It only weighs less than a kilo, making it easy to carry around the house. The projector is basically an android tablet, so all the features which include Play Store, Google Support, apps and games come with it.
Perhaps, the most exciting feature of the Xperia touch is the gesture controls for faraway projection made possible by the IR array sensor and the camera. Sony has announced that the camera will come with a software update. This is still rough and unfinished but Sony is planning on adding this feature as well.
As Sony announced, users will also be able to use the Xperia Touch for gaming, accessing social media and for video streaming. Using different design related software, the device can also be used in creative fields such as architecture and design, enabled by the multi-touch sensitive display. Windows has already launched the HoloLens, which displays holograms and is widely used in designing and architecture. The output of the HoloLens however has to be viewed through dedicated frames and hearing devices. This is not the case with the Xperia Touch, which gives the output on any flat surface.
While the Xperia Touch is an extremely fascinating device, it may not completely fulfill the everyday purposes it has been designed for. People already have TVs, gaming consoles, smart phones and tablets to utilize the entertainment and communication features offered by these electronic devices. The paramount selling point of the Xperia Touch is the projection technology and its ability to turn any surface into the device interface. This feature may benefit some of the users who are operating certain software such as Photoshop. The device can truly be utilized by creative professionals, who can use it as a platform to take digital designing to a newer niche.
The Xperia Touch is a piece of technology that represents what computing will be like in the future. While it may just be like ordinary tablet able to project itself for operation, the user experience even for accessing some basic apps like Skype will be completely different. The Xperia Touch will be available in European stores this spring and will cost £1,284 (€1,499).
Image Courtesy: Sony Mobile