The Anycast Touch is not only a sleeker incarnation of Sony's all-in-one studio, with a slider design and a manageable-enough 6.6-kg (13-pound) body; it's also the company's first such system to feature a touchscreen interface. The machine sports two touch-enabled displays, allowing users to adjust audio controls, type via an on-screen keyboard and edit footage, among other functions. Video sources are assigned to one side of the panel, and tapping a particular input will bring up the footage in the middle preview window. It seems like an intuitive interface, especially given all the live-broadcasting controls on board -- a six-input video switcher, a five-channel audio mixer, a built-in character and title generator, and a remote camera controller, just to name a few.
Aside from the touchscreens, built-in live-streaming capability is one of the Anycast Touch's most unique features. On the show floor, Sony was sharing the product's output with WiFi-enabled devices. According to the company, this functionality will be useful in educational settings, at houses of worship, corporate seminars and any other events intended to reach a broad audience. The Anycast could even help news producers scale back on their own gear, letting them trade those gigantic live trucks for live vans or sedans, for example. Pricing info isn't set in stone, but Sony says the MSRP will be less than $20,000 when the device ships at the end of summer. There's simply a ton of functionality here, so we definitely recommend checking out the studio-in-a-box in action in our hands-on video after the break for a bit more detail.Gallery: Sony Anycast Touch hands-on