Puppy Cube Laser Projector – Turn Any Surface into a Touch Screen
Texas Instruments partners with Puppy Robotics to bring us the Puppy Cube, an ultra short throw laser projector that turns any flat surface into an interactive touch screen. Though equally as great for playing fun games with the kids, the Puppy Cube has some practical applications that adults will love, and some extra bonuses that may have you considering this tiny projector as a new addition to your home.
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The Puppy Cube is a 300 lumen projector designed to project on flat surfaces to transform them into an interactive touch screen. It is 3.5 pounds, and measures just 5.2” wide, 8.4” long, and 3.4” thick, making it one compact projector. It has 5-watt stereo speakers built in, and features 0.3-inch DLP laser display technology by Texas Instruments. It’s a 2018 IFA Product that won the Technical Innovation Award and Interactive Innovation Award.
This 720p projector can produce images of up to 100” diagonal – but you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a fully darkened room if you do that. Though this projector can be used in the traditional sense – that is, to watch shows and movies – it is much more interesting to consider it in some less conventional ways, which we’ll get into later in this article.[sam_pro id=1_29 codes="true"]
Unconventional Uses for the Puppy Cube
The Puppy Cube has some rather interesting uses that aren’t what you’d expect of a traditional projector. At the Texas Instruments booth this year at CES, we caught a bit of a demo involving an interactive musical keyboard. The TI representative is “no keyboardist,” he disclaims, but we still fixed together a clip of the Puppy Cube’s interactive keyboard in action:
In addition to transforming your table into a musical instrument, the projector can be used to play a number of interactive and educational games with the little ones, such as a game involving the beloved Peppa Pig.
The Puppy Cube isn’t all fun and games, however. Adults can use it for practical application in everyday life, to do some pretty cool things. My personal favorite is its ability to transform your countertop into an interactive cookbook, projecting your recipe or recipe video onto the countertop so that you don’t have to constantly wipe your hands to touch a tablet. I’m an avid cook and I constantly use my phone for viewing recipes while preparing new meals I haven’t memorized yet, so this is one application I would definitely use the Puppy Cube for.
Similarly, the handyman in the family can use the projector when learning how to fix a new problem in the home, such as a busted garbage disposal, hands-free. You could use the Puppy Cube to project any tutorial video you want, with a larger screen surface than your phone or tablet can provide.
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In addition to its touch screen functionality, the Puppy Cube has some great features. It has a custom Android UI (user interface) with loads of Apps, including some of your basic favorites, like Microsoft Word and Google Chrome. For that reason, I think it would be an interesting tool for writers, but I would be concerned about the position of my neck, looking down like that for an extended period of time.
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It features compatibility with Miracast, and has one-touch screen-mirroring – a nice touch. It accepts 4K content – though, keep in mind that it only has 720p resolution. It is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible, so if you’d like, you can sync your external Bluetooth speakers so that you can experience more robust sound. It also has an Audio Out jack if you’d rather use wired speakers. Alternatively, you can use the projector itself as a speaker.
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Pricing & Availability
The Puppy Cube was available for pre-order via their IndieGoGo campaign, which is now closed and 218% funded as of December of 2018. Pre-orders were going for $899, down from $1,499. We can expect this projector to ship this year. For me, I’d rather go with a 1080p Epson HC2150 or one of the many $1,499-and-under 4K UHD projectors for the price, but none of those have the interactive tabletop features. That is truly innovative, and, if right for you and your family’s applications, may be one to consider when it begins shipping.