A decade ago a gadget like the Xperia Touch would have seemed like one of those sophisticated machines that existed only in the mystical world of science fiction. Now, though, Sony has proved that the future is here, with the debut of a portable yet futuristic Xperia Touch projector.
The Xperia Touch projector is here and has taken the projection space to a whole new level. Powered by Android 7.0, this portable projector is capable of turning any flat surface into a large-sized interactive Android display.
But the Xperia Touch is more than just an ordinary projector. Here’s everything you need to know about this new innovation from Sony.
Sony’s Xperia Touch: What Is It?
The Xperia Touch is an ultra-short throw projector capable of projecting images diagonally up to 80 inches while sitting at a distance of around 38 centimeters from the surface it’s projecting on. It’s also a smart Android device powered by an unnamed Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.
This portable projector comes with an IR touch functionality. Just put it on a flat surface, and you get a large (23-inch) display, with an Android UI that you can interact with just as you would on a regular tablet. There is also a built-in camera and mic, which means you can even Skype on a large display and on any flat surface.
In terms of specs, the Xperia Touch comes with some of the top-end features you’d expect in a premium brand. These include NFC for fast pairing between devices, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi Direct, WiFi support with Miracast, 3GB of RAM, stereo speakers, built-in battery, HDMI port, USB-C, and 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB.
Design and Build of the Sony Xperia Touch Projector
The Sony’s Xperia Touch projector has been artistically designed to impress. Its compact and rigid nature might fool you into thinking that you’re looking at an external hard drive, but even if it was for storage, it’d be something very appealing to the eye.
The Xperia Touch is very compact, measuring 69mm x 134mm x 143mm, and at a weight of less than one kilogram, it’s easy to move it around the house or carry it in a backpack. The glossy black panels combine with the perforated metal casing to give it a stylish look.
How the projector sits depends on where you want to cast the image. On the top, you’ll find the controls aligned in a nice arrangement which includes an NFC chip and a camera. Even though the camera sits on top of the projector, you can change the orientation of the Xperia Touch to be able to cast images on a wall.
How the Xperia Touch Projector Works
The Xperia Touch projects at a maximum resolution of 720p. You can project anywhere between 23 and 80 inches. However, you won’t be able to use the touch gestures for higher projection ranges above 23 inches.
To project at 23 inches, you’ll need to have the projector closer to the wall, and that’s when the magic happens. Once switched on, the Touch uses a combination of infrared sensors and a 60fps camera to detect the user’s gestures and taps. This allows you to control the projected Android interface with your fingers just as you would on a smartphone or tablet.
Sony has also installed a handful of apps in the Xperia Touch that work great with that kind of interface. These include the drawing app and the keyboard app. You can even load a game or do some flashy DJing. How cool is that? And it works perfectly well on any flat surface.
What’s more, the Touch can do almost everything you can do on a tablet. You can download apps and games from the Google Play store and watch videos, as well as browse the Web.
And since the Xperia Touch runs on Android 7.0 (now updated to Android 7.1.1), it’s enabled to use Google Assistant (Google’s artificial intelligent voice bot), so you can use it for functions such as controlling smart home devices.
Room for Improvement
There is no doubt that the Xperia Touch is an impressive device to own. However, it’s not perfect, and some gaps need to be filled. First, the battery life is below average and requires a huge upgrade. Sony says it can last for up to 1.5 hours, which means if you intend to project for long hours, you’ll need to be near a power source or have a long extension cable in place.
The other caveat is that you’ll want to use the device in a dark room ideally because images appear pretty dull in regular lighting. The Xperia Touch has a maximum brightness of 100 nits, which is not that much by any standard.
Lastly, the Xperia Touch works best on flat surfaces. The touch gestures might not work at all on rugged surfaces. And at a price of $1,700, the Xperia Touch is very expensive for the average consumer.
The Xperia Touch is the true definition of innovation in the projection space, and we have not seen anything like it. While Miracast and DLNA technology make it possible to cast an Android screen on HDTV, the Xperia Touch makes it possible to have an Android UI on any surface, which is not only revolutionary but impressive, too.
What are your thoughts about Sony’s Xperia Touch? Share with us in the comments section below.