Haier jammed a tiny projector into a smartwatch for some reason

Sure wearables have been having a tough go of it lately, but maybe the problem is just a general lack of tiny projectors jammed into the products. It’s an idea a few folks have flirted with in the past, and it’s one the folks at Haier are ready to deliver in the future.

The Asu is a gigantic new smartwatch from the company that regularly brings you things like transparent and brain controllable televisions, in addition to the usual array of appliances . Never let it be said the company isn’t willing to take a risk with a bizarre and probably misguided idea. The idea here is the essentially augment the 1.54-inch display with a 480 x 854 projection directly onto the wearer’s screen. You can then interact with the projected image with touch.

The projector offers a much larger surface area than you get on a standard smartwatch (though that’s somewhat counteracted by the massive footprint required to house the technology), so there’s that. It can project things like workout stats and phone numbers as you’re typing them.

Novel? Kind of. Useful? Not especially. Mostly though, it seems like an a company doing whatever it takes to stand out in an overcrowded and somewhat flagging market. The company says it plans to start selling the product in China this year. It will be joined by a small tabletop projector that displays touchscreen surfaces, similar to Sony’s Xperia Touch.