Our weekly series on crowdfunding projects tries to look through Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other sites to find the most innovative and useful projects you can back. That's because some of the coolest new tech these days, like the Pebble Smartwatch and the Oculus Rift VR headset, didn't come from big companies but rather, from Kickstarter.
This week, we took a look at the TouchPico Indiegogo - this Android-powered projector can turn any surface into a touchscreen, and it hit its funding of $55,000 within 24 hours of the project being launched on Saturday.
The TouchPico is a pocket-sized projector - according to the project page, it's the same size as a Samsung Galaxy S4, and slightly heavier. The projector will use Android 4.2, and will support microSD cards. It can be used to project an 80-inch image - but the really interesting thing is that with the special stylus, you can use that display like a touchscreen.
The stylus - which is pretty big, and looks a little like Pencil, by FiftyThree - uses infrared detection technology to track the stylus. The stylus has a small IR emitter built into it, which is tracked by the projector, to accurately calculate the point where you are touching the screen.
Aside from that, the TouchPico works like any Android device - the page suggests you think of it as a giant Android tablet. You can download apps from Google Play, project a Skype chat on the wall, or use it to display a presentation. It could also be used for gaming, though games that require multiple touch inputs, or use the tilt function, will naturally not be usable. Gestures like pinch to zoom in webpages will also naturally not work.
Despite these limitations, it is easy to see a lot of different scenarios where the TouchPico would be really useful. Watching movies, simple games like Angry Birds or even more complicated games where a single touch input is all that's required, such as Rebuild come to mind, and of course, it would be very useful for presentations. For more examples, check out the video below:
The crowdfunding campaign will close on August 26, and shipping is scheduled to start around 15-30 October. The early bird price is $329 for a projector, with an additional $30 for international shipping.
To see more stories about crowdfunded projects, click here.