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Kinect Plus Projector Makes Anything a Remote Control

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A user accesses a controlelr projected on a household surface.

A combination of depth cameras and projectors called WorldKit lets you create remote controls for TVs, room lighting, and more, on any bit of household furniture.


Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing WorldKit, a system that combines cameras, projectors, and computers to allow everyday surfaces to host interactive controllers for electronic devices.

The system uses a Microsoft Kinect depth camera to pinpoint which surface the user wants to turn into a controller. The user says out loud what device the surface should turn into while moving his hand back and forth, and WorldKit's voice recognition software relays the information to a digital projector on the ceiling that beams an image of the chosen controller onto the surface. The Kinect camera then works out which buttons the user is pressing.

Carnegie Mellon's Chris Harrison says the system will be useful when small pico projectors have become sufficiently cheap and efficient to be dotted around the home. "No one has yet come up with the killer app that will drive projector prices down," he says. "WorldKit might be that app."

WorldKit also could beam interactive cooking instructions onto a kitchen counter, creating a space for each ingredient to be placed. Worldkit "will help the field move forward and bring smart home applications a step closer to reality," says Hasso Plattner Institute researcher Patrick Baudisch.

From New Scientist
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