A converted warehouse in Austin, Texas is perhaps not the first place you think of when looking for technological innovation. However, that is exactly where Sony has decided to showcase what it calls the ‘Wow Factory’, as part of its annual SXSW show. At the week long event – ending today – members of Sony’s Future Lab programme have been showing off their latest gizmos. And there’s one trend that stands out above the rest: projector-based technology.
And the focus is not just on bigger screens and faster processors. Instead, the Future Lab team have been encouraged to think more about human interaction and creativity.
One of the most impressive displays was the ‘Alice’ demo, which used projectors alongside new software to identify when a teacup or deck of cards was on the table in front of the projection and then adjust the image accordingly.
Another demo allowed a Sony rep to build a ‘home’ out of virtual blocks of wood projected on to the table via a Sony VPL-GTZ1 projector. He was also able to adjust the lighting with just his hands.
The same 4K projector was deployed to create a virtual cave in which a group of six people where taken into a virtual, interactive world (without the need for a VR headset). With four GTZ1 4K projectors mounted on each of the walls, participants were virtually transported to a city of their choice (effectively a virtual tour around Google Maps street view). Proximity sensors were also built in so that users could interact with their environment; move water with their hands, for example.
Using 4K, laser light source and ultra-short throw capabilities, the GTZ1’s imaging technology is being marketed for B2B and commercial applications. With 2,000 lumens colour brightness, the projector can throw high-resolution images up to approximately 147-inches. Like Sony’s other laser light source projectors, the VPL-GTZ1 can deliver an expected 20,000 hours of operation without the need for a lamp exchange. This translates to substantial savings in time and money, reducing the costs normally associated with bulb replacement.