Are interactive projections the next in mobile applications?

Using a system of both visible and infrared light, a new device from researchers at the Disney Institute and Carnegie Mellon may give us yet another reason to endlessly toy around with our iPhones. SideBySide is comprised of a camera-less mobile device that breathes life into animated images that, when projected onto a wall, interact with each other. Unlike current applications of augmented reality, the projections exist externally and provide compelling potential for games, education, and other surely wholesome Disney activities. 

“Smartphones have made it possible for us to communicate, play games and retrieve information from the Web wherever we might be, but our interaction with the devices remains a largely solitary, single user experience,” said Karl D.D. Willis, a Ph.D. candidate in computational design at Carnegie Mellon and a lab associate at Disney Research. “Now that handheld projectors have become a reality, we finally have a technology that allows us to create a new way for people to interact in the real world.”

SideBySide has not yet been integrated into other devices, but a future of impromptu projected boxing on street corners is not too far off, we’re sure. 

-Lyndsey Edelman

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