Sony at Mobile World Congress earlier this year unveiled the Xperia Touch, an Android-driven projector that uses a 60fps camera and infrared sensors to detect taps and gestures on a 23-inch projected image on a horizontal surface (up to 80 inches on a wall).
The Xperia Touch, which Sony is looking to utilize as an interactive hub for the home, comes installed with Android Nougat and can use any surface as an interface. As you would expect, it can function just as any Android tablet would.
You can browse the Internet, check the weather, view your calendar and use Google Assistant. There is also a “memo board” app for leaving messages for family members and you can even conduct Skype calls with the built-in 13-megapixel camera.
The XT is not limited to pre-installed apps, either. You can download any app you want from the Google Store. Since the gesture controls are processed on-board, it should be compatible with any app.
It is also compatible with the PlayStation 4’s Remote Play feature. Playing PS4 games on a 23-inch screen is not ideal for most and projecting a bigger display reduces luminosity. However, it could serve in a pinch as a way to play games somewhere other than the living room.
Google Maps can be controlled with the same pinch and drag gestures you would use on your tablet (Image via Tech Advisor).
The battery only lasts about an hour but if the idea is to have it as a hub located in one place in the home, it can just remain connected to a power source at all times through its USB-C port.
The Verge got some hands-on time with the Xperia Touch prototype back in February when it was announced. The device worked as advertised but the reviewer was left wondering if there is even a market for it. Our smartphones are way more convenient for doing most of the tasks it is capable of and image quality is not going to replace out televisions.
“It’s just not really clear who this helps,” said The Verge. “It’s really cool technology, but I wouldn’t buy one.” I feel the same about it. It seems cool, but I just don’t see myself using it that much. After the novelty wore off, it would just end up in my closet.
The Xperia Touch is already available on Amazon for $1,700 which is about $100 more than the announced MSRP. As of writing, there were only three in stock with more on the way. The device will also be sold through T-Mobile in Chicago, Los Angles and Miami. Sony will likewise have it at its Sony Square display room in New York.