A new augmented reality projector could turn anything in your home into a surface on which you can project your desired imagery.
Dubbed Lightform, the new company was co-founded by Brett Jones, lead researcher on Microsoft's Illumiform concept that allowed the company's Xbox to employ a projector to display games onto walls and other big surfaces, allowing for a larger screen area.
With Lightform, users can plug the device into a projector via HDMI and project digital imagery anywhere in the home. But it's not just about simple projection. Using the device's built-in processing power, Lightform is capable of intelligently identifying the shape of an object and only projecting images on its surface area.
On the company's site, for instance, it shows how a pattern can be projected onto a pyramid and boxes sitting next to each other without ever projecting the art on any other surface.
Lightform co-founder Raj Sodhi, who also worked at Microsoft as a lead researcher on another concept technology called RoomAlive, told Wired in an interview this week that Lightform's camera can look at an object and identify its dimensions and design to effectively project the image the way you want. The camera also analyzes the entire room, so anything within it can be a surface for casting an image.
According to Wired, Lightform's Sodhi said that the technology is capable of projecting a movie around a wall or showing different patterns on various household items in your living room. It's also possible for restaurants or cafes to display menu items on a chalkboard using Lightform.
To be sure, the projection technology isn't new and has cropped up in some commercial settings. However, it's historically been exceedingly expensive and far too pricey for home use. Sodhi told Wired that his company has found a way to bring the price down to a consumer-friendly level.
Lightform is slated to be available for pre-order this summer and those who are interested in getting a unit can sign up to be alerted to the pre-order data. Lightform hasn't yet announced pricing, however.