Screens? Where we're going, we don't need screens. The Typlet T1S is a Windows or Android computer that projects its display onto tables and walls, while using a series of infrared sensors to register your touch input.
Available later this year for around $700, the TS1 will come in Android or Windows versions. Typlet demonstrated a working protype of the TS1 at CES and I was able to spend a few minutes looking at the output on a white table and tapping the virtual screen with a finger.
I was impressed with both the relative clarity of the image, which is a modest 854 x 480 resolution, and the device's quick and usually accurate response to my taps. I also watched as a company rep navigating through the Android OS, played a fish game and typed on Android's virtual keyboard. The projection on the table was a perfectly square 14 inches. The device can also project a much larger, 90-inch image onto a wall.
Because the infrared sensors are positioned in the TS1's base, you can't use your fingers to touch an image that's projected on the wall. To solve this problem, the device comes with a wireless stylus that works on horizontal projections. Unfortunately, no matter how you touch it, the TS1 doesn't support multitouch gestures.
Why You Should Care
The TS1's ability to track your touches opens up a whole world of possibilities. We can imagine using it to power a public kiosk, where the actual projector would be secured and users would only be able to interact with the images. It would also be ideal for business presentations or education where the teacher or presenter can manipulate horizontal projections with the pen.
Specs, Cheaper Model
Typlet didn't share a lot of information about the TS1's components. Company reps told me it would be available with Windows or Android but didn't say what CPU it would have. Typlet is also coming out with the $400 T2, which will be a touch screen projector only and require you to attach your own computer to it.
The TS1 is a rather unique device that makes for a cool demo, but for businesses or consumers to spend $700, it's going to have to provide a really powerful experience. There are some compelling use cases for businesses, but the high price tag and relatively low resolution are drawbacks.