Next Big Thing – LightBeam

Throw away your laptop! With LightBeam, the world is your computer

It's a projector. Not exactly futuristic…

Ah, but it is. LightBeam projects onto whatever objects happen to be around and adjusts the image's detail and size to match. Not only that, but the image follows the object around – and you can even use everyday items to control it. We're talking serious interactivity.

When exactly would I use this?

Let's say you want to watch a video while you are in a cafe: just project it onto the menu. No menu? Use a plate. No plate? Use a cup. The video automatically fits the available space. Or at work – say you're doing some extracurricular research you need to hide before the boss sees. No biggie, just twist your mug and the display switches to a spreadsheet.

Okay, you've sold me on it. Where do I get one?

Erm, nowhere yet, unfortunately. LightBeam was created by researchers from the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany using a Pico projector and a Kinect. But never fear, their video has attracted a lot of interest – so we could well see a commercial version. Fingers crossed!

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