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GAMBLING ON A BIG SCREEN?
10th May, 2011 at 09:25:12
Disney Research is pioneering a new way to view mobile phone content
The US giant corporate Disney Group has taken inspiration from an historic form of Japanese theatre to develop a new concept in taking cellphone content and making it more easily visible.
In traditional Japanese Utsushi-e theatre, light from lanterns was used to project stories and images onto rice paper screens, and this basic pre-cinema concept is being developed using 21st century mobile technology through smartphones.
Many cellphones sold in Japan and Korea already have tiny "pico" projectors embedded in them - handy for catching a film on a wall or other large surface, and making cellphone content easier to view.
Now Disney appears to be thinking ahead for Western smartphones and is currently developing game applications for such phones, which it has presented at the CHI 2011 conference presently running in Vancouver.
Led by researcher Karl Willis and Ivan Poupyrev at the Disney Research labs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the MotionBeam project explores the use of hand-held projectors to interact and control projected characters in games played as the images are thrown onto a flat surface.
One of the first Motion Beam games lets the user control a small yellow character which runs across the display surface collecting stars. The user guides the figures by gesturing with the handheld projector itself as if it was a torch, and interacting with the game.
The prototype combines an iPod Touch, a laser projector, and a microcontroller-sensor unit. The attached sensors include an accelerometer and gyroscope to detect the smartphone's movements as well as an ultrasonic distance sensor to work out how far the projector is from the viewing surface and adjust accordingly.
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