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Another augmented reality, pico-projecting lamp threatens desktops, brings tablet reinforcements (video)

Tim Stevens

How long have dumblamps been ruling our desktops for? Their reign of evenly scattered light might finally be coming to a close. A few months back it was MIT student Natan Linder putting a pico projector in a lamp to create LuminAR. Now, researcher Li-Wei Chan from National Taiwan University has crafted something similar, again with a pico projector replacing a bulb, this time relying on an IR camera to detect position. The lamp projects an image into a surface that users can interact with, while tablets (also augmented with use IR cameras) can be used to display a 3D view of the 2D projected content, allowing a user to look around and zoom in dynamically. The voice-over in the video below talks of potential military applications, generals analyzing battlefields, but for once we'd like to think that this sort of thing would be used for peace. You know, planning nature walks, watching virtual horsies romp around in a pretend field, that sort of thing.

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