As our home interiors are getting smaller and our furniture more compact, more and more we’re looking to streamline our technology so it integrates into the look and feel of our homes instead of over dominating it. Where once a piece of tech like a projector or speaker might appeal to the tech geek out there (like my boyfriend) now it’s interior enthusiasts (like me) who want good sound and picture quality without compromising on style. Now tech has to have both form and function – it has to look the part but not let down on performance. Design lovers like me now want technology to blend seamlessly into the background and become part of the experience of living in a space.
I’ve recently been working with Sony on ideas for small space living (read them here on Marie Claire and here on Cosmopolitan) and they sent me the new LSPX-S1 Glass Sound Speaker and LSPX-P1 Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector to try out for myself.
The Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector is a clever, little power machine that’s super light and compact – the 10cm cubic projector can cast an image, up to 203cm in size, onto a table, wall or any other surface you want to bring to life. I was amazed when I got it out of the box how small it actually was. It’s wireless, portable and really easy to move about from one room to another – perfect for flexible, open plan spaces like mine, where I can be reading a recipe or watching a how-to video on YouTube one day, then move it into the living room to watch something on iPlayer on another. You can project images or also a clock face, which is handy when you don’t have a clock in the kitchen!
Even though it’s super small and discreet, the image is impressively sharp. The projector has a HD 720p resolution and two built-in bass reflect speakers for sound. Obviously, it works better when the room is completely dark (black-out blinds in the bedroom work well) rather than during the day, as seen here. I’m just not very good at taking dark images, they always turn out grainy!
The accompanying HDMI unit lets you mirror your computer, smart phone or tablet screen and stream videos via a simple, dedicated app. We’ve mainly been enjoying it for movies in bed, a really lovely treat to uplift an everyday moment together.
I’ve also been trying out the smart Glass Sound Speaker, which looks more like a stylish designer lamp than anything that would emit sound. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and can be moved around anywhere. What is unique about this speaker I think is that it combines ambient light with sound thanks to its elegant glass cylinder. The LED filament is designed to mimic soft candlelight and can be dimmed or brightened. It creates a really lovely, cosy atmosphere in the evenings when it glows.
I don’t know much about sound quality, but the speaker is really clear, especially in comparison with some of the other speakers we have (such as the Amazon Echo). The speaker has a glass tube tweeter – I wasn’t sure what that meant, does this thing Tweet?! – but it means that it produces clear highs and sound projects in every direction. A translucent passive radiator delivers deep low frequencies, while a built-in 50mm woofer gives a powerful mid-range of sound. I tend to listen to Classic FM or Radio 3 when I work, so it works really well for those sound ranges from soft and quiet to big and brash.
I really like how these products fit into my home – the speaker doesn’t really look like a speaker at all and the projector looks like another design object on my shelves. I like that the projector is white as well instead of black, it somehow looks more contemporary and less clunky. It’s is perfect for small spaces if you don’t have room for a big telly, it can fit onto a slim shelf or I’ve also seen it used on a mantlepiece.
I love when you can hardly see technology in a home, when it doesn’t ruin the look with big, bulky displays. You can only just see the projector in the image above and below and I quite like that. It’s simple and minimal. I was a bit worried that both of these products would look good but not deliver, that they’d be complicated to set up each time but I can see us using them everyday, because now every night is movie night!
All images Cate St Hill. Disclosure: thank you to Sony for kindly gifting me the products to try at home.