Rear projection TV multitouch


[Dave] sent us these fantastic instructions on how to hack a rear projection tv to be a multitouch interface. They’ve converted a 67″ inch TV by adding a couple of PS3 eye cameras and an infrared laser plane. There’s lots of great information, like how to replace the lenses on the PS3 eye cameras and how to create the custom fittings needed to make it all fit nicely. You can download the code, but it is Mac only.  They claim that this is the first conversion of a commercial rear projection TV to multitouch, but we know better. You can see a video of it in action after the break.


  1. Failsafe says:

    The example that you use to prove that this is not the first time a projection TV has ben converted into a multitouch is wrong. In the article you link to, it clearly states that he built the enclosure to resemble a commercial projection TV. He does state you probably could use a commercial rear projection TV, but until now I haven’t seen it done.

  2. julien says:

    gotta find myself a rear projection tv.
    to craigslist!

    ps: dugg

  3. Roboguy says:


  4. dave says:

    Thanks for the post!
    If you look at the other rear projection multi-touch screen it requires that you build the cabinet. Look at steps 6 and 7. It’s a great project, but it’s not a hack of a commercially available rear projection TV…

  5. Calebkraft says:

    Yes, I see now, you’re all right. That other one is just really convincing.

  6. Garak says:

    Interesting project. I have an client that I’m installing some HD TV’s for and they have an old rear projection tv that I might be able to get for little or nothing. I also have an old sony eyetoy camera kicking around and an old svga projector. All I would have to buy are the ir lasers…

    Is there any GNU multitouch software out there… I must go search.

  7. olul says:

    wow…. my rants have a 62″ DLP TV in the living room….

  8. james holden says:

    garak- you won’t need the projector for this type of build.. the TV is already the projector

  9. Tom G. says:

    Great idea, good execution, but but here are fundamental issues that should be considered before executing similar projects:

    DPI – enough resolution? Both cameras and projectors require DPI considerations. LCDs have at least 100 DPI, higher quality ones >150 DPI.

    A 50″ 1080p HDTV has a DPI of 44, making small text difficult to render. Doubling resolution doubles DPI.

    Since Projectors have a resolution that caps off at 1920×1200… (Being generous), I would require at least two projectors to obtain ~90 DPI.

    Depending on your end application, a DPI of 44 may be quite fine. If the viewing distance is > ~6 feet, it should suffice.

    The other gripe I have with this particular project is cost. The HDTV is 2k alone, taking away the DIY allure.

    Still, the idea of repurposing available hardware is great, since the finishing touches are already present. Using multiple cameras is a plus too. These MT projects are fuelling the development of cohesive and highly usable MT frameworks.

    Good Job IDEO!

  10. dom1nion says:

    “Depending on your end application, a DPI of 44 may be quite fine. If the viewing distance is > ~6 feet, it should suffice.”

    hmmm, must get 6 foot arms to control multitouch hack. Anyone know of 6′ arm hack or similar?

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    You yell at ‘em for years not to touch the stupid thing and they hack it specifically so that now you have to.

    smartass kids!

  12. Adrenaline Junkie says:

    @strider_mt2k: you made me spit soda on my monitor. grats! that usually requires a couple girls and a cup.

  13. adam says:

    video gone on vimeo? sadface.

  14. HawkMarc says:

    Nice and informative post.. tnx man

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,421 other followers