Imagine using your old plasma screen TV to play Angry Birds. That’s exactly what TouchJet aims to do with its upcoming television peripheral, the WAVE. The device intends to bring the Android 4.4 Kitkat ecosystem to your living room while essentially turning your TV into a big touchscreen.
Touch-control will apparently work on any display sporting an HDMI port and measuring between 20 and 60 inches diagonally. And, better yet, setting things up is as easy as attaching the device to the top of your TV, plugging it into an HDMI port, and calibrating the system by tapping a few dots.
It works using infrared technology, with the WAVE tracking finger movements and taps as they bounce across the screen. That data is then redirected to the light processing unit, or LPU, thereby converting it to an input format recognized by Android.
It sounds easy, but we were skeptical about its functionality, so we reached out to Touchjet CEO Helen Thomas about our concerns. Thomas assured us that the WAVE’s “bleeding edge infrared technology” used to detect gestures and taps across the screen “does not require you to use pressure on your TV screen in the same manner you would with a smartphone or [tablet] touchscreen.”
She also reminded us that the WAVE is accompanied by a soft-touch stylus in the case that finger touch control isn’t the best option.
It’s in Touchjet’s best interest to bring the apps, files, and entertainment we take on the go with us to the center of our living rooms. “We watch CNN news rooms and film characters like Iron Man swipe and use touch [to] control big screens,” she says. “We want WAVE to bring the experience and interaction to our daily life.”
Additionally, WAVE isn’t limited to your TV. Users can take advantage of a mobile companion app, also developed by Touchjet, in order to control WAVE from the comfort of their mobile devices — that’s included with the $99 price tag.
Spec-wise, the WAVE isn’t out of the ordinary. In fact, it bears resemblance to a lot of set-top streaming boxes in the same price range. With the exception of the 2.0 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, nothing else is decidedly uncommon.
The WAVE boasts 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of onboard flash storage, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. Moreover, the built-in optical touch sensor supports up to four touch points while you can get it bundled with an air mouse at an additional undisclosed cost.
“We know that people want to be able to access great content on their televisions, whether for work or play,” suggests Thomas, who got her start as Founding CEO at Leapfrog China where she helped the company see a ten-fold revenue increase in just five years. “However up until now interacting with that content has been very difficult.”
Whether you’re interested in drawing on and annotating documents or just kicking back and binge-watching Parks and Rec on a massive touchscreen, Touchjet’s new invention shows some promising potential. But will it work as advertised?
Who knows, but if that’s a risk you’re willing to take, you can head on down to the company’s Indiegogo page to help fund its campaign. If it’s successful, Touchjet doesn’t plan to initiate shipments of the WAVE until March of next year. That’s a long time to wait, but perhaps worth it if it means a properly-working device on delivery.