Monday, August 16, 2004
This is some VERY cool stuff, largely dealing with how virutal objects could interact with real objects in environmental augmented reality setups.
There's interesting fodder for thinking about how technology of the future will unfold, and you will undoubtedly see bits and pieces of this in future entries here.
High on the "just plain cool" meter is the ability for software written by these folks (and possibly hardware, I didn't dig too deep) to allow you to project video on to practically any surface. The system adjusts the brightness (and, presumedly, other values) of each pixel in real time to account for different textures and colors on the viewing surface, essentially cancelling them out. It also adjusts for warping in the geometry of the surface as well, making it possible to project a movie onto a patterened curtain in a way that looks very much like projecting on to a regular screen. Multiple projectors can be used simultaneously to eliminate shadows that might be caused by a single projector on a 3D surface.
One can envision a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Projectors (RAIP) much like today's RAID drives for servers for household theater viewing. Perhaps 5 projectors or more arranged in a pattern like 5 is represented on dice allowing for a cheap (relatively) setup that can be used anywhere to show a movie.