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Sony's Wild Projector Makes Anything a Touchscreen

Projectors aren't just for stuffy boardrooms or expensive home theater setups anymore. Sony's new Xperia Touch (available for movie screenings in a home near you starting summer 2017) can turn any flat surface into an interactive touchscreen.

The Sony Xperia Touch projects a 23-inch capacitive touchscreen. Credit: Sherri Smith

(Image credit: The Sony Xperia Touch projects a 23-inch capacitive touchscreen. Credit: Sherri Smith)

The concept is similar to what I saw at Sony's Future Lab setup at SXSW 2016 and one that Sony first talked up at last year's Mobile World Congress. But instead of a strategically-mounted projector lamp, Sony packages the whole caboodle into a box that's about the size of a large coffee tin.

When it's powered on, the Xperia Touch can create a 23-inch, 10-point capacitive touchscreen that also boasts built-in gesture functionality. The device will also offer voice control so you use Google's digital assistant.

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Speaking of Google, when the Xperia Touch ships, it will run Android Nougat (version 7.0.1). That means you'll have access to all your favorite Android apps on the big screen without having to Google Cast or mirror it somewhere.

During my demo, I watched as the Sony rep played on a set of piano keys projected onto the table in front of him. The resulting key presses were responsive and accurate, delivering the pleasant plink that you'd expect from an actual instrument.

The device can also project a 80-inch, 1280 x 720 image for your own private movie theater. And while watching movies is fun, you can also project your PlayStation 3 or 4 games via Sony's Remote Play feature

That means when you inevitably lose control of the main screen to a spouse or visiting family member, you can continue playing your game on an even bigger screen. And as a gamer with a lot different eyes vying for the TV, that's worth the price of admission in and of itself.