Every once in a while a truly great and innovative campaign lands on the crowd funding websites. This time out we find a pico projector on IndieGogo. The project is called TouchPico and it is no ordinary projector; aside from being almost completely wireless in operation and housing its own full copy of Android, TouchPico pairs with a smart stylus which allows you to turn any surface into a touch screen.
Most pico projectors are simply slimmed down units capable of little more than projecting an input video signal onto the wall or ceiling. TouchPico also has an HDMI input, so you could use it as a plain old projector, but we think you’d opt instead to fire up the installed copy of Android 4.2 and run your own apps out of the Google Play Store. While the TouchPico will perform just fine for entertainment and media playback, including slideshows of the family vacation, the developers want you to push further, running games and other productivity apps that require significant user input.
The included stylus has an infrared emitter. In relation to the projected image, TouchPico is able to capture the location of the stylus, using its built-in infrared camera, and convert the location into touch screen coordinates. This means that no matter what surface you use, or how large you expand the projection, you are rocking a touchscreen with an input rate of 40 frames per second.
We do not have the actual device measurements, but TouchPico is shown off as being pocket friendly, weighing in “slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and just about the same size.” The rest of the specs list shows off as follows:
- Android 4.0 (but they say 4.2 in the video!)
- SD Memory card
- Audio Output
- 80 Lumens (up to 80-inch projection)
- Integrated Wi-Fi
- Wireless mouse
- Google Cast Streaming (No explanation is given here.)
With all of this tech and capabilities, TouchPico wants you think beyond your normal projection needs. Business professionals can use the device to make a large interactive smart table. Educators can use it as a small and mobile Smart-Board system. And, of course, you’d be missing out if you do not get in a game of Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja in large format.
The only reason you should feel the need to rush over to the IndieGogo project page is if you want to get in on the early bird specials. At the time of writing, the project has already reached 87% of its goal, and it has only been live for a couple days! The current early bird deal gets you your own TouchPico for about $310, with the device slated for a $500 price tag after it starts shipping in October.
Is the addition of touchscreen functionality and a built-in Android operating system enough to get you excited for the TouchPico projector?