LAS VEGAS — Like many tech giants, Sony is interested in the smart home, but it has a different take on the technology. Life Space UX is the company’s ongoing effort to re-imagine living spaces with creative, occasionally flashy tech. Sometimes the results are brilliant (like the LED lamps with built-in speakers) and sometimes they’re downright odd.
This short-throw projector falls into the latter camp. Unveiled at CES 2017, the prototype can project a crisp 4K image to the wall it resides under. So far, so good. But after showing how well it handles photos and videos, the demo proposed another use case: browsing magazines. You can call up a grid of magazine covers as easily as a channel guide. Select one, and it enlarges and virtual pages turn. It’s reading, but on TV!
In fairness, the projector can do the same thing with all kinds of content, and the demo showed how it could browse music in a similar fashion. Certainly, movies and TV could work here, too, though there are already plenty of ways to browse that kind of content.
The projector is a prototype, so it’s probably a couple of years away from becoming your digital magazine rack. When asked how much it might cost, Sony wasn’t definitive, but guesstimated a $60k figure. The demo was canned, so exactly how the UI works isn’t clear. Gesture seems like the most natural way to flip pages (and in keeping with Life Space’s sensor-driven tech), but a conventional remote would probably work, too.