Thursday, May 14, 2015

Touchjet's Pond Projector Comes With Android 4.4 Built-In

Remember when Pico Projectors were all the rage? The idea was simple. Let's create a projector small enough for you to take anywhere and project things whenever and wherever you wanted. The idea was so radical and interesting that it caught on like wildfire. Even smartphone developers were creating phones with Pico Projectors built-in. It seemed like this was the future of projector technology.

However, it didn't quite turn out the way that many people had hoped. Sure there are a ton of Pico Projectors still on the market these days but the idea is more of a niche product than anything else and, to make matters worse, it doesn't seem like the next generation of iPhones or Galaxy phones are going to be coming with built-in projectors. But that doesn't mean that portable projecting is dead and gone.

Take the Touchjet Pond, for example. This device is taking the opposite approach to Pico Projectors by instead packing all the functionality of an Android device into a projector, including a touchscreen. The idea originated as an Indiegogo campaign last year and the very fist product is now available for shipping for $599.

According to Touchjet, the Pond is the very fist consumer device that allows you to create a touchscreen out of literally any surface. The device is capable of projecting a screen size of up to 80" diagonally with a resolution of 854x480. You do have the ability to produce a larger screen but the 80 lumen output of the projector dims the picture significantly beyond this point.

The projector itself is entirely made of plastic, keeping weight down to just 9.6 ounces. Connectivity ports include a Mini HDMI and micro USB ports in addition to a headphone jack, in case you don't want to use the internal speakers which are, needless to say, rather small.

On the inside the Pond comes with a mid-range dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 18GB of user-accessible storage. While these specs aren't necessarily on the high-end they are more than capable of producing smooth performance and a lack of dropped frames. There have been reports of the device freezing, causing it to have to be powered off and powered back on. The storage is also non-expandable, which could be a deal breaker for some people.

To interact with the touchscreen display you will need to use one of the two included styli. The styli shine an infrared light that the projector tracks. In addition to that, they are also pressure sensitive, making them very useful for text and drawing. They are also made of metal instead of the projector's plastic, making them feel a little more sturdy in your hand. The Airmouse, which is the included remote for the Pond, doubles as a pointing device, allowing you to navigate around Android with the directional pad or switch to mouse mode to track movements in the air.

$599 is a bit of a hefty pricepoint for this type of projector so, at this point, it's hard to tell how successful the Pond will be. The small size makes the projector very portable and convenient and is easier to carry around than a laptop or a tablet. The display quality isn't the absolute best but the portable Android touchscreen capabilities do have merit for people like teachers and families. If you have the money to spend and actual, practical uses lined up then the Pond from Touchjet could be a very useful little projector.

Content originally published here

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