http://youtu.be/orPc94ZUNwQ
The LightBeam, a project from Darmstadt technical university, may sound like a new way of life for those that playback video, but the reality is, it involves Kinect-like control of pico projectors. The idea of tiny, portable projectors called pico projectors, has been around for a couple years, as has natural interface for video/video games. Using objects such as bottles to control a display that is projected onto a book brings a whole new meaning to the teachings of Yoda in the swamps of Dagobah.

The video shows an AAXA Technologies L1 showing a slideshow and some different websites on a book and paper then, prompted to forward the slideshow by rotating a mug on the side. I doubt many will trade their mouse or keyboard for limited functionality with a round object, maybe only a bottle is all you got. The first application I see for using this technology as is, would be going camping with a sportcam, shooting some of your adventure, then playing it back with a pico projector, and your airing-out T-shirt is the backdrop while your water bottle manipulates the show.

Of course we'd love to be able to continue surfing the Internet if a Wi-Fi connection could be established and there's already a need for that with so many sportcams and handheld camcorders gaining wireless connections this year. LightBeam is also shown to be able to track the surface it's projected onto, whether the surface becomes tilted or shifts within a given range. Control such as level of detail in the displayed image may be as simple as moving the projected surface closer or further from the projector.

Clearly, creativity and innovation will determine how best to use this technology, and a side effect may be the increased demand for pico projectors. If nothing else, it makes for a great Jedi mind trick.

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Jackson is a fan of Star Wars, sports, foley, and games of all kinds.

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