Gadgets & Gear: Tech News from Around the Tech World

TouchPico from TouchJet
TouchPico from TouchJet

Glasses-Free Computing? Count Me In!

Imagine being able to actually take your glasses OFF to watch television or work at your computer. Well, Dr. Brian A. Barsky, a University of California, Berkeley professor, is working on that. By using an algorithm that takes into account the type of vision being corrected, combined with a screen overlay made up of many small holes punched in plastic, a computer (or television, or iPad/iPhone) can display an image that your brain is able to perceive clearly, despite any visual shortcomings you may have. As someone who is bespectacled and spends a lot of time (entirely too much, if I’m honest) in front of a computer screen, I personally can’t wait.

Talk About Projection

While handheld projectors are nothing new, the TouchPico from TouchJet has something that most handheld projectors lack—the ability to be a touchscreen as well. The roughly hand-sized TouchPico, like many handheld projectors, puts out a respectable 150 lumens—bright enough for most rooms—and projects an 80-inch screen on any white, flat surface. But on top of that, it can run any Android app and comes with a pen-like stylus. The stylus contains a small infrared light that acts as a touch device, making the TouchPico react like the kind of Smart Board you’d see in a conference room or school. The TouchPico will be shipping in October and is expected to retail for less than $500.

Watch Out

I talk about smart watches a lot in this column it seems, but for those who enjoy elegant design and digital convenience, there’s something new for you. MetaWatch, basically the “original” smart watch company, has shortened their name and jumped back into the game. The Meta M1 is now available for preorder and features a classy design by Frank Nuovo. If you ever owned one of those super-classy high-end Vertu phones of the late ’90s and early ’00s, you have him to thank for it. The base-model M1 Core is stainless-steel with a rubber band, though you can shell out a modest amount extra for a leather or steel band. The M1 Limited, on the other hand, comes in either a rose gold case with a blue crocodile strap, or a black case with a matching black steel band. They work with both Android and iOS, with a pretty decent amount of customizability. The monochrome screen ensures good battery life and readability even in bright light. The Meta M1 Core retails for between $249 and $349, depending on options, and the M1 Limited is $399 (Rose Gold/Blue) or $449 (Black on Black).

iPhone 6 Update

Finally, in other news, Apple’s next iPhone finally has a (semi) concrete release date. The Wall Street Journal, apparently now in the business of Apple-related rumors, has reported that it is “very likely” that the iPhone 6 will be announced and released on September 9 of this year. The iPhone 6 is rumored to come in two very different flavors this time around—rumor has it that the screen will be expanding to at least 4.5” (up from the 5/5s/5c’s 4.0”), with another model available with at least a 5.5” screen. The jury’s still out on many of the other features. Will the iPhone 6 have a curved screen? Maybe! Will it be made of sapphire glass, the strongest touch screen glass currently available? Probably! Will it support near-field communications and be able to charge wirelessly? Hopefully! We just don’t know. But we will find out in September!

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