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Smart Home

CES 2019: Bosch projector turns your shelf into a touchscreen

This tiny module can project an interactive image on up to six different surfaces.

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That's a laser projection that you can touch. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Thanks to Bosch's tiny projector, you could soon use your shelves to pick outfits, check the weather, organize your clothes for laundry day, and more. The BML100PI is on display at CES 2019. It's not actually meant to be sold directly to consumers. Instead, this tech could be integrated into smart cams, fridges and more in the near future. 

The BML100PI projects images of buttons that you can touch. It's a laser projector: If you move your finger over the button, a photo diode picks up a reflection of your finger and registers it as a press. In the demo at CES, different closet shelves allowed you to sort through your shirts, pick an option with a press and order more if you were running out. 

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This is Bosch's prototype. Manufacturers can include a much smaller set of gear in their own devices. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The buttons could theoretically be anything, and the projector could create sliders as well, so a fridge manufacturer could use it to help you track expiration dates and keep up with your groceries. The projector can also broadcast images of weather, and could even interact with social media.

The BML100PI is smaller than a credit card, and the laser projections don't need to focus, so you could change the position of shelves within a fridge and the buttons would still show up. The top-down projection can hit up to six shelves at varying heights. 

So while you won't be able to buy Bosch's cool BML100PI for your own home, the implications of the tech are pretty interesting. It'll be ready for manufacturers early next year, and Bosch will have a different, cheaper model called the BML100P for projections that aren't interactive. Hopefully, the BML100PI will be integrated into cool gadgets shortly after it's ready so you can start interacting with your shelves soon.

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