Short-throw projectors are nothing new, but Hitachi's latest does bring something different to the table: in fact it creates a table-top projected touchscreen surface. Pairing the company's CP-A100J short-throw projector and the UPIC Plus Wireless Interactive Panel 56-M, the system can recognize and track a digital pen as it moves across the huge 56-inch projection screen.
The UPIC 56-M is covered in almost invisible microdots that are recognized by a special Bluetooth stylus; the pen can also track eight levels of pressure. All of that data is passed to the controlling PC, which also handles the projector.
While in principle this is nothing new - there are plenty of "intelligent" whiteboards being used in schools and colleges - what makes the Hitachi system stand out is the fact that it's incredibly compact and portable. The projector only needs to be sat on the table with the UPIC display, and the display itself is rollable, wireless and has a magnetic backing for wall-mounting. Ideal for whipping out when the kids aren't doing their chores and you want to show them in great detail when they're meant to take the trash out on your huge family planner.