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CES 2019: Bosch develops tiny laser to put touchscreens in your wardrobe

Matthew Field
Bosch's laser projector screen can turn surfaces into touch screens - Bosch

A credit card-sized projector that can turn any surface into a touchscreen could be a feature of wardrobes of the future, giving users advice on what to wear that day.

The tiny smart projector can make anything touch sensitive, scanning the surface to monitor any touches or finger movements.

Developed by German engineering firm Bosch, the smart projector was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as part of a showcase featuring a futuristic wardrobe.

The projector module was used to create "smart shelves", such as one telling users the weather forecast, a digital calendar and a recommended dress code for the day.

The tiny projector fires out a laser beam image onto the surface, which it monitors for touches or movements.

When the surface is touched, the internet-linked module can perform actions, such as linking up to online fashion shops to buy new items of clothing or automate requests for laundry services.

Bosch said the smart projector can also operate in wet or dark conditions, such as in a fridge to automate new orders of food.

"With this Interactive Projection Module any regular shelf can easily be transformed into a personal assistant for the user," said Dr Stefan Finkbeiner, chief executive of Bosch Sensortec.

It will be available sometime in 2020, however Bosch has not yet revealed a price. 

It is not the only unusual smart display that has been on show at CES.

Mui, a Japanese start-up, used the tech conference to show off its smart plank of wood, which has a built-in touch display so users can control their music or use it as a voice assistant.

Mainstream smart displays have been launched by both Google, with its Smart Home Hub, and Amazon, with its Echo Show.

Bosch's design, the company said, could be used as a smaller secondary smart display, or be used on curved or unusual surfaces to turn them into touch sensitive screens.