Published on January 23rd, 2017 | by Greg0
Touchjet WAVE: Television To Touchscreen, Instantly
You’ve probably faced this problem at least once: going up to a screen in the expectation that touching it will do something, only to find yourself leaving fingerprints but having otherwise no effect. Tablets are awesome, but pretty limited in size, and smart televisions are surprisingly affordable even in huge sizes, but lack touchscreen capability. Today, we’re looking at a solution that takes just about any regular flat screen TV (up to 65 inches) and makes it a giant touchscreen- making it an instant interactive whiteboard and more.
The Touchjet WAVE is what they call a “Android Tablet TV System”, and it was originally a successful Indiegogo project that raised over $800K. It’s basically a tiny, portable computer running the Android 4.4 Kitkat operating system, and it includes a stylus and remote so that you can control everything even if you don’t want to use your digits (on the screen, at least). If you have a ‘dumb’ TV, then the extra features will come in even more handy- you can download apps like games, stream from Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, or Spotify, or browse the internet even from an older or non-internet connected screen.
We’ve seen Touchjet gear before- their Pond took the same basic idea but applied it to blank walls, using a built-in projector. And this seems like the next natural evolution, since there are lots of TVs out there that could benefit. The hardware is pretty solid- a 2 GHz quad-core ARM processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, Bluetooth, and 802.11 b/g/n for fast wireless access. There’s a webcam, too, so you can video conference. Setup seems like it might be simple- a little booklight-sized with sensors mounts above the screen, and you connect the device via HDMI to your television. But calibration can be difficult, and it can be hard to get the WAVE firmly attached to the screen, as each time you touch the TV it can end up moving around and throwing everything off. Plus, the corners can be ignored by sensors, the system can be pretty slow, lighting changes can throw it off (and it seems to require fairly bright lighting), not to mention that touch registration simply didn’t seem that sensitive.
There are positive signs, to be sure- it’s easy for the WAVE’s software to be updated, the unit looks great, and it can easily be moved from place to place if you need. And we love the idea, it’s just a bit ahead of it’s time perhaps as first-generation products sometimes are- with a little polish and a more stable or adaptable sensor it might be just the ticket. Available now, online and at Best Buy, expect to spend around $299 for the Touchjet WAVE.