Commoditized: Now You Can Get Interactive Projection Systems For Sub-$500
October 26, 2013 by Dave Haynes
What the company has is intended for the bedrooms of little kids, but Raspberry Pi was intended as a kit to teach schoolkids about computing, and that went in a bunch of other ways, as well.
In this case, you have a sub-$500 ceiling-mounted projection system that effectively does the same sort of thing as EnVu, the Stratacache company that has interactive floor projections in US shopping malls. Another similar thing would be what Perch Interactive does on merchandising tables in retailers.
The tech here is, of course, entry-level and would not have the brightness, durability or range if capabilities of commercial systems EnVu would use, or probably Perch or others. BUT, it’s instructive on what could be done.
Based in Winnipeg, Canada, where little kids have LOTS of indoor recreation time come winter (grew up there … brrrr), the system is designed to retrofit a ceiling light. The thing is a small processor (presumably ARM), a 150 or so lumens Pico projector and wifi. It comes with pre-loaded games and a software that lets kids develop and modify games they can then load into the system via that wireless.
For the nerds reading this, the projection system is based on Po-motion’s motion detection and effect generation algorithms, but ported to Java. Po-mo is also in Winnipeg, which stupid-me didn’t know had this sort of tech scene.
Does this mean you can buy one of these and get in the interactive projection business. Lord, no. A projector with 150 lumens needs a dark, dark room and a short throw. But this could work, I suppose, on restaurants tables and bar tops, as well as museums and galleries.
It’s more of a suggestion that between steadily lowering hardware costs and open-source code, stuff that for a long time seemed crazy expensive and far too technical is getting affordable and relatively easy to implement.
How many parents will drop several hundred dollars for this kind of system is an open question, but if I was Lumo I’d have a meeting or two about going to the dark side and not making this just a system for kids.