Yes, you read that right. For $299 (well, $249 for a limited time), a company called TouchJet out of Singapore (with an office in San Francisco) has invented (and is shipping) a product they are calling WAVE. WAVE is a small camera you place at the top of a display and it has an extension with an IR lens that is calibrated to size (20″ to 65″) of monitor you are using. It connects to the display via an HDMI port and turns any monitor out TV into a touch-screen. And, it actually works!
The WAVE is a bit more than just a camera — I over-simplified it above. It’s like a small set-top box that contains a 2.0GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 chip, a built-in optical touch sensor, support four simultaneous touch points (or you can use the included stylus if you’d prefer not to use your fingers) and uses an Android 4.4 OS. Set-up takes less than 10 minutes and it connects via Wi-Fi to any network.
It’s targeted towards the consumer market for people who want to turn their TV’s into touch-screens but, schools are already spec’ing the product as a cheap way to turn anything in to a touch-screen. And, for $299, you can understand why.
The hitch? you have to use the built-in Android player (yes, the WAVE is like a giant Android tablet) so you can’t use your own computer. But, the Android App store (aka Google Play store) has over 2.2 million apps so that includes Skype, PowerPoint, Maps, Word, Excel, etc.
Check out this video from David Danto, in which he “unboxes” the TouchJet Wave: