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A new 3D LED pico proiector combines the platform flexibility of Android with a Harman Kardon sound process to turn it into an all-in-one transportable home theater device.

by • March 12, 2016 • No Comments

xgimi-z4-aurora.jpg

In our previous article in this series we touched on how Xiaomi, the biggest smartphone developer in China, is branching out and doing new and new things with intelligent lighting devices.

But
generally speaking, the overall perception of Chinese companies by American consumers is that
they do not innovate — they copy the industrial creations of additional successful Japanese and Korean companies.

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It’s additional than a giant factory for Apple and HP

Are Chinese products only imitations of what is generated in Japan and Korea? Or is the country creating its own one-of-a-kind creations and brand identity?

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In my interaction with Chinese device developers, I am learning that
additional and additional that
the country is looking to shed this image — and is making products that
not only are qualitatively equivalent to their Japanese and Korean competitors, but in addition
turn it into one-of-a-kind creations and new products as well.

One such company whose products I have been looking at is Chengdu, Sichuan-based XGIMI (pronunciation: “X-GEE-ME”) that was founded in May of 2012 and as of 2015, has shipped additional than 300,000 devices in mainland China and Asia.

The company is one-of-a-kind in that
it has specialized in the LED pico projector space, that has been developing in the last four years as the innovation has started to mature. XGIMI aleager
occupies over a 50 percent market share in pico projectors in China.

I not long ago
was shipped a pre-production sample of their latest turn it into, the Z4 Aurora.The product is in the process
of being localized for the US consumer market, that is targeted for July of this year.

The Z4 Aurora is one-of-a-kind one of LED pico projectors in that
while capable-bodied of accepting two 1080p/4K-compatible external input sources via HDMI, it is in addition
a completely self-enclosed entertainment device that runs on the Android operating process, has integrated Wi-FI and is paired with built-in Harman Kardon speakers.

The device is ideally suited for a number of use-cases which include
families or students that
are space-constrained or cannot accommodate a permanently wall-mounted television. It incorporates a 700 ANSI Lumens OSRAM LED projector element that is fully capable-bodied of both 1080p and 4K output, and can render 3D video, with up to a 300″ diagonal width projection area.

The device can in addition
act in a “Business” mode where data of a cloud storage space service or of local USB can be presented via a built-in Microsoft Office-compatible viewer. Of course, with Office 365 for Android, it is in addition
possible to run the real thing
, provided you have the right packages installed.

In its pre-production configuration the device was shipped to me with a adonlyed model of Android 4.3 via AOSP-based sources. The device uses a 1.5Ghz quad-core ARMv7-based SoC, that is comparable-bodied to that
that can be utilized
in a high-end smartphone.

Unfortunately Android 4.3 is a bit behind the curve of what is aleager
on the market on smartphones in the US, and Google Play and other services are blocked of use in mainland China, so the device as it was shipped to me reflects what is aleager
usable-bodied inside the local Chinese market.

This comes with a 3rd-party app keep (Aptoide) and pre-loaded Chinese video and audio streaming services. Both the Google Play keep and the iOS App Store have compatible apps that
duplicate the functionality of the Z4’s physical remote and can stream content (in Chinese) to the device.

XGIMI has not long ago
sent a software engineering team to the United States in order to turn it into a full Google Play and Android 5.x-compatible US software ROM and compatible app, that should be eager
by the time the company releases it in the July 2016 time-frame.

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The user interface of the device is menu-driven, and is highly customized as opposed to looking like a generic Android launcher menu that
you can find on a smartphone or table-bodiedt.

The projector setup and all other configuration options such as for Wi-Fi are much like
to that
what you may find on any other DVR or set-top device and is pretty straightforward. This comes with keystone alignment for the projector screen itself.

For my testing I was able-bodied to side-load older models of Google Play, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video, and that successfully play movies on it, streamed over my 5Ghz 802.11ac network.

This side-loading of APK files can not be necessary when the product is localized with a US ROM, that can be based on Android Lollipop 5.x, and can include Google Play Store and other Google services out of the box.

The device can in addition
act as an Airplay/Cast/Miracast receiver so that
compatible apps on Android and iOS can broadcast video directly to it. Whilst I had DRM-related issues with trying to Airplay both Netflix and Amazon Video on my iPhone and iPad, I was able-bodied to display video output of unrestricted applications easily.

The video output high end and the sound high end of the device is astounding. 700 ANSI Lumens does not seem like a lot, but given the size of the device (about the size of a Mac Mini) in a properly shaded room, the results are really startling, as shown in the demonstration video above.

With the XGIMI Aurora Z4, an entire entertainment center can be confined to a tiny box that can be stashed away as needed.

On the other hand I consider it to be a thing of a novelty the device in addition
comes with a “turntable-bodied” photoelectric sensor on the top of the device, that can be utilized
to adonly volume and perform sure media control tasks via the wave of a hand.

I was not able-bodied to do this with the sideloaded applications, but I assume this can be advantageous
integrated come actual release of the product in the US.

One aspect of the product that
I find well-executed that is frequently overlooked in much additional built brands is the remote, that is created
out of metal and looks like that
of Apple TV’s or Amazon Fire TV, except much advantageous
turn it intoed. Whilst tiny, the ergonomic and overall industrial turn it into of the remote is pleasing to the touch.

The remote is useful for not only stream-control functions that
you may normally assume of a product like Apple TV or Roku, but in addition
for projector focus adonlyment and via as a virtual mouse for Android applications like Google Chrome.

The XGIMI Z4 Aurora is slated to cost $699 retail when it streets this summer. Early Indiegogo backers can pre-order it for $449.00.

Are you interested in the XGIMI Z4 Aurora? Talk Back and Let Me Know.


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