New interactive gaming combines projector and motion sensor

Disney’s research arm has developed a new form of interactive gaming using a pico projector and motion sensor to control cartoon characters beamed onto walls.

MotionBeam consists of a handheld pico projector, an iPod touch and motion sensor unit, including an infra-red camera that can detect objects to incorporate into the game.

Players point the device at a wall or flat surface and project the game, including the characters onto it. They can then control the game through their movements and gestures.

Disney have come up with a prototype, demonstrated in a YouTube video, but it may be some time before the MotionBeam is available at consumer-friendly prices.

The MotionBeam is supposed to deliver functions ranging from basic motion control to advanced user interaction. However, reviews have questioned whether for such a small package, the projector used in the demonstration is bright enough to provide a totally immersive gaming experience.

Disney Research is confident that “tiny, bright and power-efficient” projectors embedded into devices will become commonplace in future.

It says: “Handheld projectors will allow us to interact with digital content, participate in virtual worlds, and collaborate with others. They will enable dynamic augmentation of the environment with intelligent imagery and will even be used to control and actuate physical objects. MotionBeam is our first step to explore this vision and make it a reality.”

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