Handheld projectors are nothing new, but TouchPico from TouchJet offers a new twist that could be useful: the ability to turn any flat surface into an interactive screen.
The small, white hand-sized device runs any Android app and projects up to an 854 x 480 pixel, 80-inch image on any wall. At 150 lumens, it lights up any room, and ships with a special stylus.
One end of the pen-like stylus, which is not attached to the projector, has an infrared switcher. The projector includes an infrared camera, which means it can track the movement of the pen in front of TouchPico’s screen. This allows you to interact with any on-screen objects with taps and gestures.
When TouchJet CMO Slava Solonitsyn loaded the popular game app Fruit Ninja, it looked quite sharp on my office wall. Then, using the pen, he launched the game and started slicing through fruits on screen. There wasn’t any lag, but you can’t stand directly in front of the screen without blocking the projection.
TouchPico’s abilities will be familiar to anyone who has seen a Smart Technologies Smart Board in action, but where those educational devices need special screens and larger and more expensive projectors, TouchPico works on virtually any matte surface and is expected to list for under $500. One advantage Smart Boards have over TouchPico, though, is that they’re designed for a very short and highly angled throw (the distance from the projector to the screen), so it’s virtually impossible for educators to block the projection.
TouchPico also includes HDMI and audio out ports; its built-in Wi-Fi can be used with Android’s Screencast technology. The projector runs off standard AC power.
TouchJet expects to ship in October, but launched an Indiegogo campaign on Monday to help fund manufacturing.