Turn your projector into a laser guided controller

[Alpay Kasal] of LitStudios as come up with an interesting way to use laser pointers as a wireless controller for games and applications. The process is currently being patented, which may explain why [Alpay]‘s blog is a little slim in the details. We doubt they’re doing anything more than just using a camera to track the laser pointer; exactly like laser tagging.

If you’re just itching to get your hands on some wireless game play and can’t wait for this to go commercial you could always just get a Nintendo Wii.

[via Engadget]

Comments

  1. dave says:

    Patent? Well, good as long as its something original. Lasertraq has been doing this for a while. You can use any color, provided your laser pointer is bright enough to be considered brightest pixel on the screen in its wavelength.

    http://code.google.com/p/lasertraq/

  2. Joseph says:

    I can already see how that first game he is playing will be hacked. cute approach to it though

  3. urlax says:

    Sorry, but these are far better documentend, and can be counted as priort art.. he (should) never get the patent..

    http://hackaday.com/2007/05/26/interactive-laser-drawing-graffiti/

    http://hackaday.com/2008/03/11/laser-writing-via-vnc/

  4. jr says:

    An infrared laser + on-screen pointer would be even better, though safety should be addressed in any consumer product.

  5. Grovenstien says:

    Its good to see people using blob tracking but we’ve seen this laser tracking done before. Seriously if you want to have this sort of interface look no further than the wii remote and if you really want that laser feel get some gaffa and stick one to your wiimote!

    Kudos to the laser tag team still the original and best.

  6. lwr says:

    I think this previous H-a-D article is a better documented example of this sort of thing:

    http://hackaday.com/2007/11/02/pysight-post-halloween-entertainment/

    …complete with python code for all those who want to re-create it.

  7. srilyk says:

    good to see you fixed the comment boxes.

    And yeah, I thought about that post lwr linked.

    Can we say Prior Art? By about a year now? Or more??

    Honestly, this post is about as sad as the fact the “peach” bits in my Quaker Oats peaches & cream oatmeal are chunks of apple dyed orange. Oh well, at least they’re actual fruit.

  8. scott says:

    heh, it’d be cool to see this as a fps controller, with a small wireless trigger attached to the laser pointer :)

  9. alexfox says:

    re: #2 by bobbob

    while i agree that this is hardly a hack, especially because its not new and no details/code was given…

    give credit where credit is due:
    a lot of people bitched about hackaday turning into another digg/etc, and though the editors never replied, they definitely have stepped up the quality of the content, and have mostly quit posting stupid “news” stories

    so yeah, this is lame… but judging by their recent track record, I’d hardly say hackaday is turning into another engadget

  10. paul says:

    I think it’s obvious from the tone of joey’s post that this is nothing new. What makes it hackaday worthy is that alpay kasal is trying to file a patent for something that’s been filtering through the blogosphere for years.

    the patent is not for using the laser to control a specific program (in addition to a mouse), but to use a laser to replace the mouse to interface with any program. huzzah!

    the fact that this is a rip-off of prior art (but subtly different), is obvious to anyone working in this field of laser/ccd interface may not be enough to prevent this from being patented if some dim wit believes this is a new use of an old process – that is the led/sensor interface of an ordinary optical mouse being applied to greater distances with different equipment (a laser and a dv cam) with potential (though no demonstration) for using different colored lasers simultaneously to control multiple “cursors.”

    patent law sucks. or at least this case sucks because it will most likely be used to attempt to hinder further development in the field.

  11. dave says:

    paul- I agree with your synopsis, but did you check the lasertraq link? Its a bit of a task to get it to compile, but it does the same thing- mouse replacement for any application. Its also got support for different colored lasers to be different pointers. So its exactly the same, only prior art.

  12. cwcentral says:

    Looks simple since there’s a grid of dots in the background (look at timecode 1:23 in the video).

    1. Project a grid of dots for reference grid/computer scan for a frame (1/60).
    2. Track a high intensity point from the laser.
    3. Have a sensor recorded scene information in between refresh intervals of the projector except when projecting the grid, i.e. track the dot any time < 60Hz.

    I’m sure the patent is trivial like what I described. Therefore, I’ll pass. Still doesn’t beat a mouse. Xerox did their research well and spent millions on that.

  13. scott,

    I’ve got a fps type game with laser control up at http://insightvr.com

    I’ve also got other movies, presentations, source code, and full explanations of how to do both laser tracking and wiiMote head tracking at the same time.

    I’m planning on doing multiplayer missile command for Halloween this year and I’ll film it. I need to order more Star Wars blasters to mod.

  14. kiss off says:

    you are lame

  15. slain34 says:

    I didn’t notice the sensors at first :P

  16. axllaruse says:

    1- Projector
    2- Webcam
    3- Laser Pointer
    4- Sit your butt in from of your computer doing programming

    Tada!

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