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The electronics giant recently showed off a prototype device that can project an interactive, smartphone-like display onto any surface.

If you ever needed hard evidence as to the extraordinarily brisk pace that technology moves these days, look no further than this article I wrote a few scant years ago about a piece of hardware that can display an interactive touch screen on any surface. Now compare that to Sony’s new Xperia Projector.

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Ishikawa Labs’ smartphone interface sure was impressive at the time, but it required enormous, expensive, clunky machinery that would only fit in the largest of evil billionaires’ secret underground bunkers to display a grainy, janky interface onto a surface. Comparatively, Sony’s Xperia Projector is no larger than both of your palms side-by-side and apparently offers an interactive projected interface that is extraordinarily responsive, with little-to-no lag-time between input and system response.

All this in a package that will surely be affordable to both evil billionaires and evil hundredaires alike. And also maybe regular people.

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The Xperia Projector is a self-contained unit — you don’t have to hook it up to a smartphone or anything — that can display interactive visuals onto a stationary surface like a cupboard door, a kitchen counter top or, hopefully, sleeping pets and loved ones. Once you’ve fired the unit up, you can use simple hand gestures and traditional touch controls to navigate the unit’s various features, which include most anything you could do with a smartphone (this is an Xperia product, after all). You can connect to the internet and find recipes, which will then be displayed right there on your kitchen counter, make phone and video calls, check out the weather forecast, doodle in a drawing program and even play basic games.

Unfortunately, as video of the concept model seems to indicate, there is a noticeable but very brief lag between gestures and the system’s response, so don’t count on being able to play high-octane Call of Duty death-matches on your own stomach with the device in its current state — although some media outlets mention that the lag came and went during their time with the unit.

As of writing, Sony has not mentioned when we can expect a working model of the Xperia Projector on store shelves, or how much it will cost, but the company does say they hope to make the system totally portable at some point so, with luck, we’ll all be playing Missile Command on stranger’s backs in the subway sometime early next year.

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Source: Digital Trends
Screenshots: YouTube/What-Hi-Fi