Eyes-on with Sony's amazing 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

The projector-disguised-as-furniture is part of Sony's Life Space UX lounge of the future [updated with video]

Everyone wants cinema-sized movies in their lounge, but no-one (except perhaps Michael Bay) actually wants their lounge to look like a cinema.

And that's where the Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector comes in. Hidden in a smart piece of minimalist furniture, it can project 147in images onto the white walls of your similarly minimalist flat in eyeball-massaging 4K prettiness.

It might sound like witchcraft. It might sound like a bonkers concept that'll never see the light of day. But not only has Sony confirmed it'll be out in the States by the summer, we can also confirm it's blooming brilliant, for we've seen it with our very own eyes at CES 2014.

Moving pictures

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We had been told there was a projector in Sony's demo room before we walked in, but we still couldn't actually find it. That's because instead of being a huge black beast mounted on the wall or ceiling it turned out to be a a rather smart-looking and angular cabinet on the floor against a plain-white wall.

With the press of a button the lights were dimmed, a flap opened on the top of the unit and a huge image of Elysium popped up on the wall above.

The seamlessness of it was a lovely surprise, but so was the quality of the image. There was still quite a lot of light seeping in from the show floor so the image on the wall lacked just a touch of punch, but the awesome crispness and detail meant it was instantly recognisable as Ultra High Definition.

Sadly, all we got to see was the trailer, so our enjoyment was short-lived, but it was still more than enough to get the excitement receptors tingling.

More after the break...

Modular design

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With the lights back on we were able to take a closer look at the unit itself and discovered that it was actually split into five sections.

The widest middle section is obviously the bit that houses the projector. Then there are two small sections either side that contain speakers (although for our demo the projector was hooked up to a set of seperate ceiling-mounted speakers). And at either end there are sections that act as cabinets for your other electronics - think PS4, Blu-ray player, home cinema amp, etc.

Although Sony wouldn't confirm it we're pretty confident that the system will be modular, so you can do without the speaker sections if you're connecting to an external system or add more of the component storage units if you've got loads of sources.

Essentially, it's all remarkably thoughtful, clever and neat, and we want it in our house right now. The only problem is the price - US$30,000-US$40,000 (S$38,214 - S$50,952). We're in Las Vegas for the CES show righ now, though, so if anyone can send us some tips on counting cards we'd be most grateful.

Life Space UX - screens that aren't screens

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The projector demo was actually just part of Sony's Smart Life UX space at CES, which also included a bunch of more conceptual kit.

Perhaps most impressive was a lamp that could project images onto a dining table below. We're not just talking video, though - using an array of sensors built into the lamp it's actually possible to manipulate the interface so that you can look at photos, surf the web or check out any number of widgets. It's got to be the easiest and coolest way to check the news headlines while chowing down that we've ever seen.

We also saw a mirror that doubles-up as a display for news feeds, magazines and the like, and a pair of ceiling-mounted projectors that could create a sun-roof style vibe for your lounge. Best of all the devices could be synchronised to the same theme, whether that be a desert landscape or a tropical underwater vista, with the intention being to create a relaxing environment.

Whether any of those extra gadgets ever make it to shops remains to be seen, but the creative thinking alone deserves a big round of applause.

CES 2014 - the biggest news so far, live from Las Vegas

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