Kid's Room Comes to Life With This Interactive Projector

LumoPlay wants to move kids' games off of a screen and onto the floor of your home. The company's Lumo product uses an interactive projector to beam games onto a floor, creating a play space where kids can interact with the games, not to mention each other. Think of it as a scaled-down home version of the kind of interactive games you might find at an indoor play area. (Indeed, the team behind Lumo got its start building those kind of interactive, projected displays for museums, schools and businesses.)

That's the first thing that struck me when I saw Lumo on display at this week's Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California: It was exactly like an interactive projector game my daughter played when recently attending a friend's birthday part at an activity center packed with jumpy houses, trampolines and other kid-friendly attractions. Only, in the case of Lumo, this is scaled to fit easily within a typical room.

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The Lumo projector attaches to a wall via a mounting plate, and draws its power from a nearby wall socket. Designed for indoor play, the projector works best on light surfaces, CEO Meghan Athavale told me. The projector also swivels and features an HDMI port so when your kids aren't playing games on the floor, you can beam the projector toward a wall to show video.

In this Augmented World Expo demo, Lumo beams a game where a real toy car blasts virtual toys as they zoom by.

In this Augmented World Expo demo, Lumo beams a game where a real toy car blasts virtual toys as they zoom by.

Athavale said Lumo will ship with 100 games, with LumoPlay creating many titles. Some of the company's efforts include a virtual hockey game where you kick the puck with your feet, an interactive marble-eating game reminiscent of Hungry Hungry Hippos, and even games where real-world toys interact with their virtual counterparts. LumoPlay also is putting out an SDK so that developers can create their own interactive games.

Lumo hits its crowd-funding goal last month on Indiegogo, so the company is now moving forward with development. Early backers should get their Lumo projectors next April, with the product going commercial after that. LumoPlay is shooting for a price tag of around $499 initially.

Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.