Thursday, August 21, 2014

TouchPico Projector Turns Walls Into Touchscreens... Sort Of

Touchscreen technology is the newest craze nowadays, entering into literally every corner of the technology market, including projectors. Touchjet originally debuted a concept version of its Touchpico projector at CES 2014. The projector, which is about the size of a phablet, is an Android-powered WiFi device that, according to Touchjet, is nearly ready for production.

The TouchPico is about the size of two phablets stacked on top of each other. While it will fit into your pocket it's not a device that you'll forget you have on you. One of the key selling points for the TouchPico is that it had the ability to turn your wall into a touchscreen. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. What the projector does do is project an 80" screen on whatever surface you want. There is an included stylus that has a clicky tip which serves as your touch-device. All you have to do is tap the stylus against the wall you are projecting on and the device sends an infrared signal to the projector that registers your motion. If you attempt to use the picture like a traditional touchpad by using your finger then absolutely nothing will happen.

Slava Solonitsyn of Touchjet demoed the TouchPico for Gizmodo, using the projector with a host of different Android apps. Solonitsyn displayed how the mini projector could be used as a whiteboard, a slide stack presentation device or even a big screen for playing games. During every facet of the demo the projector responded to clicks and stylus movement without any noticeable lag, though you do have the hold the stylus in a certain way so that the shadow of your arm doesn't cover the object you are trying to click.

Internally, this projector has some good hardware. The TouchPico is packing a dual-core processor running stock Android, which means its essentially a WiFi-only device. In addition to that, it has a 150-lumen lamp and is able to run stock Android apps with no troubles. The touch sensor does not use any CPU power but instead emulates the screen on the go. What this means is that, for the moment, it is unable to do multitouch. The TouchPico also comes with two built-in speakers and a cooling fan that is relatively quiet. Solonitsyn also noted that the projector will last about 45 minutes on battery power before it needs to be plugged in.

All the engineering and designing is complete on the TouchPico and now Touchjet is looking to Indiegogo to raise money for the first round of devices. Think of it like Kickstarter with a different name. Backers will get their TouchPico projector for $350 with regular retail price set at $500 once the campaign is over. While that is a pretty steep price for a product like this you have to remember that you are essentially getting an 80" Android device that you can display on your wall and take with you anywhere you want or need to.

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