Sony shows Android-based, touch-enabled projector concept at IFA 2016, and we got to try it

There's this thing about the future – it is uncertain. 50 years ago, people envisioned us having robot butlers, flying cars, and colonies on other planets by the turn of the 21st century. Instead, we got automated vacuum cleaners that can't tell when there's kitty poop in their way. Following that trail of thoughts, we can't be sure whether Sony's touch-enabled projector would ever see the light of day, but the concept we saw at IFA 2016 was surely drawing attention.

To reiterate, the Sony Xperia Projector is still at the conceptual stage of its development. Its design, specs and functionality might change in the future, if the gadget ever reaches a commercial launch. The unit that Sony had on display, however, was up and running, and people were allowed to try it first-hand. Size-wise, it was smaller than a toaster, but the image it projected was pretty large in size. Speaking of which, projection was done horizontally on a white table, but the unit can be flipped and placed against a wall for a vertical experience. To the naked eye, resolution and image quality were more than satisfactory. 

So, what can it do? Well, the Sony Xperia Projector is an Android-based device, meaning that it can run the same apps and games any Android device can. And yes, you interact with it by pressing directly onto the image being projected. We got to play a few games of Fruit Ninja against the kids that had gathered around, but the projector can be used for web browsing, watching video, checking email, all that usual stuff. Input responsiveness and accuracy weren't perfect. It was much better than we expected, but it is definitely something that could be improved if the Xperia Projector is ever going to be released. The device can recognize up to 10 fingers at a time, at least technically. UPDATE: Since a few of you guys asked, yes – when you press at a point, your finger casts a shadow over the image. From the looks of it, taps within that shadow would have a harder time registering.

To wrap things up, the Sony Xperia Projector could one day be marketed as a media hub and entertainment device that's equally fun when shared and when enjoyed in single-player mode. Still, it could use some polishing around the edges for us to give it the thumbs up.



1. Fona13A unregistered

Thanks for shining light on this

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7425; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think this is really cool. Bring this into a Starbucks, library, or other site. And you could browse the web in style. Hehe. I wonder if it supports Bluetooth as well, because it would be nice if you could a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse with this device. What is the maximum output of the display size. It it's 15" or more, then this could be a new form of laptop or tablet replacement.

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I have a doubt. If I touch one point on the projected screen, does it leave the back part dark by a shadow of my finger? I mean since my finger is an obstacle to the light to pass it will cause a shadow?? And doesn't that make multi touch even worse.. There is just one source of light right or does it pierce through our finger(that's scarry) Guys how is this works? Feel free to reply plz

10. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I think this might work like Leap Motion... But with a projector built in

11. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

It's a projector so yes the shadow will be seen instead of the image

3. justme

Posts: 58; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

I lol'ed at the first three sentences.

4. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Just saw a video of this in action with someone playing fruit ninja and it seems pretty awesome. It is bright and responsive and has pretty cool possibilities. If priced and marketed right, Sony you got yourself a winner, unlike your overpriced smartphone line.

7. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Unboxtherapy tested something similar

6. MrAnonymous

Posts: 94; Member since: May 25, 2014

Wondering how it registers the touch since there's no interaction between the fingers and the machine :/ and if i place one finger at a point, it blocks the light and casts a shadow and now if i place another finger in that shadow, will it recognize it....??? ://// P.S. A cool concept by Sony.. Innovative!

8. Subie

Posts: 2378; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

12. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

These type of devices where here in the days of the feature phones. I believe it was a Motorola who had a keyboard function. Sony is probably the first one who has something that has some potential of being useful at home. Maybe even the office if they keep improving.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's essentially the same as this, except it emulates a full touchscreen instead of just a keyboard.

16. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Yes it was something like that.

14. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Sony has been developing this projector for over two years now Definitely before Lenovo

15. Subie

Posts: 2378; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Nice, thanks for the link. I guess Lenovo was just making waves then by putting that tech into a cellphone.

9. monoke

Posts: 1172; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

"Minority report" not too far away folks!

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