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LightBeam turns everyday objects into displays, controls

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A new project is able to turn any surface into a trackable display that can be controlled with the twist of a mug.


A new project called LightBeam aims to turn any surface into a display that can be controlled with everyday objects. Just like Microsoft's Lightspace, LightBeam uses a pico projector and webcam to track surfaces — if you move a piece of paper, the projection will follow it — and the projection can change depending on the object, with additional detail added or removed based on size. Everyday objects can be used for more than just displays, though, as any rotatable object can actually control what you're watching. For instance, in the demonstration video, turning a mug on a table causes the display to switch between Flickr and Facebook — it's not quite as advanced as Lightspace, however, which enables you to interact with projections through touch. While the short video is all the detail we have right now, the team behind the project will be showing it off later this year at CHI 2012 in Austin, Texas this May.