“Portable and versatile. This projector can free your space while filling with large screen.”
TS Business Division, Consumer Experience Producer
Developer's Interview: Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector "LSPX-P1"
─ Tell us about the ideas and concept behind the creation of the LSPX-P1 portable ultra-short throw projector.
The Life Space UX concept, which includes this portable ultra-short throw projector, focuses on how our living spaces can be transformed.
For example, consider how many people determine the placement of their sofas, dining tables or chairs within their living room based on the location of their large-screen televisions. It’s almost as though their personal spaces are being decided by the TV itself. In these cases, the layout then naturally encourages people to gravitate towards the screen as they go about their daily lives, and the practicality of this idea was something that we began to question. We wanted to release families from the constraints of conventional consumer electronic devices that they now unwittingly found themselves bound to, and enable them to freely create preferred spaces in which they could watch movies or TV dramas with their families. These ideas encouraged us to focus on compact projectors. A portable projector would enable people to watch video content from anywhere in the room, so it would become possible to place furniture in any location, thus providing more lifestyle freedom.
─ What is the recommended way to use the LSPX-P1?
The LSPX-P1 is connected to an external input device to enjoy TV, movies and games, just like a regular projector. It also uses an ultra-short throw lens, so it doesn’t need the projection distance usually required for conventional projectors, enabling it to be used in a variety of locations.
As a new development, we have added a ‘poster’ feature. This enables you to project images and video anywhere you like, including in places that were not possible until now. In addition to content such as conventional TV programs or movies that can be enjoyed ‘actively,’ you can also view ‘passive’ content such as videos linked to the current weather or the current time, which can be pleasing to have displayed in a particular space in the room. Various other features have also been incorporated to facilitate easy use of the ‘Poster’ feature, allowing you to set the ON/OFF time or to have the projector switch ON as you approach it, and OFF again when you move away from it. We would love for our customers to experience the viewing of this kind of ‘passive’ content
─ Was there anything that left a particular impression on you during the development process?
One of the features of the Life Space UX concept is that we focus not solely on the product itself, but also on how the product will fit into the environment in which it is placed. When planning the product itself, we consider these factors across a wide range of details.
For example, conventional projectors have on their main body a power button and several other buttons for focus, volume and various settings. While we obviously focused on the device’s user-friendliness for our customers, we decided to place only the power button on the body of the LSPX-P1. As for the ultra-short throw, we assumed that customers would naturally put the projector at some distance from themselves, so we decided to put together all the various operational buttons on a smartphone application, and then create an autofocus setting to enable the focus to adjust automatically if the projector is moved. We believe that we have achieved a product that combines user-friendliness with all the concepts we had hoped to convey.
One other extremely specific element was the decision to change the conventional green LED lamp, which is usually used to indicate that an electronic device has been switched on, to white. We tried the green lamp on the LSPX-P1 but it stood out too much in the various spaces. We also lowered the brightness of the white light so that customers can still identify whether the device is switched on, without it being too bright. These elements were determined after tests were conducted in a variety of locations.
─ The compact projector body is equipped with everything, including the battery and speakers. What did you struggle with achieving the ideal size?
We really struggled with making the projector a compact size that would be portable. The portable ultra-short throw projector is approximately 8 cm wide, which is the size that we determined could be gripped easily in one hand.
The target width of a compact 8 cm was incredibly difficult to achieve. Although compact and bright, the laser light source generates a lot of heat. Furthermore, in order to maintain the harmony between the displayed video content and the room, we concealed components such as heat vents and video terminals, which are reminiscent of AV devices and electronic products, by wrapping them in perforated metal. This process reduces heat waste efficiency while suppressing operational noise to levels of 22dB or less, which is roughly equivalent to the sound of rustling foliage.
This new projector is equipped with an autofocus feature and also boasts Sony’s smallest ever ultra-short throw lens and the newly developed ‘SXRD’ display panel. A laser light source has been incorporated and following repeated trial and error and experimentation, a combination of optimized cooled air and ducts has enabled us to succeed in creating a new video content experience in the ideal size.
─ In addition to the portable ultra-short throw projector being able to project its display onto walls, the unit can be placed on its side at 90 degrees in order to project images onto tabletops or the onto the floor.
The portable ultra-short throw projector can also be connected to a computer in order to project screens onto a desktop. This allows photos and digital data documentation to be displayed alongside paper documentation. We believe that the ability to display content in locations, that until now had not been possible, will lead to creative new ways in which to use these spaces. In addition, the portable ultra-short throw projector can be carried around in one hand, so you can place it in your preferred location and then watch content immediately without needing to adjust the focus. Once you find a great location, you’ll be able to display as much content as you like! We hope that lots of people will discover plenty of new ways to use some unexpected spaces. Please try and see your space transform yourself!