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Sony’s Xperia Touch projector lets you interact with any surface

Why it matters to you

Sony's Xperia Touch brings the idea of screen-less interactivity one step closer to reality.

Sony’s latest odd contraption is a projector with an interactive display — the Xperia Touch has been shown and demonstrated at previous trade shows, but the company is finally bringing it to market.

The Xperia Touch looks like a large, external hard drive, but it’s essentially a device projecting an Android tablet interface onto a wall. The resolution it projects only goes up to 720p, but it ranges in size from 23 inches to 80 inches.

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To project it at 23 inches, the Touch needs to sit close to a wall — that’s when the magic happens. An infrared sensor detects movement across the projected screen, allowing the Touch to detect touch actions on the wall. This allows you to control the projected Android user interface with just your fingers, similar to using a mounted tablet except without a physical display.

Sony has a handful of apps pre-installed that utilize this type of interface, such as a piano keyboard app and a drawing app. But what makes the Xperia Touch even more unique is how it’s essentially a Google Home as well.

That’s all thanks to the new announcement about Google’s app update that will bring Google Assistant, its artificially-intelligent voice bot, to all devices running Android 6.0 or higher. The Xperia Touch runs Android 7.0 Nougat, so you’ll be able to utilize Assistant’s many features, like controlling smart home devices.

The Touch is also filled with a myriad of sensors, such as a human detection sensor, humidity, temperature, barometer, ambient light, GPS, and e-Compass sensors as well. It also has Bluetooth 4.2, 32GB of internal storage, and 3GB of RAM.

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It also has NFC at the top, so if you use “OK Google” to ask the Touch for directions, simply tap your (NFC-capable) phone on top and beam the data to your device — that way you’ll get the navigation information on your phone, ready to go.

It’s meant to stay idle and remain plugged in your home via the USB Type-C charger, but it does have a battery that can keep it running for an hour unplugged.

Sony did not announce pricing at the moment, but the Xperia Touch will be available in select markets in spring 2017.