Zrro Android console mimics touchscreen controls on the big screen
Zrro (pronounced "zero") is an Android-based games console currently looking for crowdfunding support. It offers something a little different from the competition, with a touchpad controller that mimics touchscreen functionality on the big screen, allowing users to interact with both games and apps in a natural, intuitive way.
The Zrro box itself is a fairly similar product to competing systems, such as Razer's Forge TV or the crowdfunded Ouya micro console. It's designed to plug into any screen with an HDMI port, letting users play mobile games on their TVs.
Where the Zrro sets itself apart from the crowd is its control scheme, which the project creators call zTouch. The touchpad controller is designed to detect the position of the user's fingers up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) above the surface of the pad, displaying them in real time on the big screen. The circular display icons change in size as the user's digits move closer to and further away from the panel, making it easier to make precision movements.
Aside from increased levels of accuracy, the control setup allows any Android game to be played on the big screen without the need for optimization from the developer. This means, providing that the crowdfunding campaign is successful, Zrro will launch with a huge library of compatible games ... though there's no guarantee the experience of playing them will be great with this kind of control scheme.
The product's mimicking of touch controls will also allow users to run Android apps on the big screen. The box is capable of up to 4K output, and could make a for a solid media player solution via on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
The Zrro box runs Android 4.4 KitKat, is powered by a 2.0 GHz quad core processor, and packs 2 GB RAM alongside 16 GB internal storage. There are two USB ports on board, as well as a microSD card reader included, making it easy to expand storage.
The Zrro Kickstarter campaign went live earlier today, with the team hoping to secure US$200,000 from backers. If you're interested in owning one of the micro consoles, early bird crowdfunding pledges start at $149, rising to $199 thereafter. If everything goes to plan then the first units will start shipping out to backers in August this year.
You can check out the video below for a look at the miniature Android console.
UPDATE (November 2015): ZRRO has announced that this project has been terminated, citing that "our prospective manufacturer has reneged on our agreement." ZRRO says it will refund all of our backers who pledged more than $2. Updates on refunds can be found here.