New Sony Projector Can Show, Record Notes Scribbled Onto the Screen

Sony said Monday it will sell a projector that displays and saves notes scribbled onto the images it projects.

The projector comes with two battery-powered infrared pens, which it uses to track what is being written on the screen. Both pens can be tracked at the same time, and each can also be used as a standard computer mouse during presentations.

The company said the projector can be used in classroom settings to save comments written on screen during a lesson, then posted or used in future classes. In business settings, the device can be used as a virtual whiteboard and to save meeting notes directly to a computer.

The device will go on sale next month in the Japan, Europe and the U.S., at an estimated price of ¥260,000 (US$3,200). Sony intends to target academic institutions that could use it for classroom presentations, as well as traditional business customers, a company spokeswoman said.

Special software must be installed on the PC connected to the projector for the pen-tracking feature to work. It has HDMI as well as standard video inputs.

The Sony VPL-SW535C projector comes with a 3,000-lumen bulb, bright enough to be used in normal lighting, that will typically last for 6,000 hours. It also uses a mirror-based projection system that allows it be used very close to the screen -- Sony said it can throw a 70-inch image when mounted about 11 centimeters away. The projector itself is about 40 centimeters in length, and has a 10-watt speaker.

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