Virtual windows that track a viewer’s position

Winscape will let you replace that garbage-strewn ally view with just about anything you want. The two windows above are actually plasma screen televisions. In between them you can spot a Nintendo Wii Remote that is used to track an IR badge worn by the person in the room. As they move, the images on the screens are changes to simulate the change in perspective you would see out of a real-world window. Take a look at the video after the break. This is unfortunately not an open source project but the software is available for trial and we find the concept interesting. If you can write video processing algorithms you may be able to take the Wii Remote Whiteboard concept and turn it into a Winscape clone.

[Thanks Anthony]


  1. Paul says:


    But I bet the effect is strange for a second viewer who sits still while the badge wearer roams around.

  2. jim says:

    Now to link it to live cameras and market it as a product.

  3. Dan says:

    Looks like it’s only for Mac OS; as said it is closed source, but fairly cheap compared to the equipment required to run it. I don’t think it’d be too hard to make a similar open source copy.

  4. Joe Larson says:

    A good idea, interesting proof of concept, but something that didn’t rely on hardware worn by the user would be way better. Something like natal that tracked the user in the real world.

    Hey, maybe natal will have something like this.

  5. Zygomatic says:

    Back to the Future 2, FTW

  6. Peter says:

    Somebody actually intends to sell this? Its a great gimmick but since you need to wear a special badge and works for one person only, who on earth would pay for it? Closed source, pffft. Keep dreamin.

  7. schell says:

    this is like that cube posted a couple days back, but from only one viewpoint.

  8. jon says:


    This is actually very cool, and I’d love to have one of these, unfortunately the need for a tracking “badge,” not to mention the size of it is rather a huge turn off.

    As a user pointed out they need to implement a tracking camera, where no badge is needed, and anyone who walks by can be tracked.

    Very cool concept though, however needs some work.

  9. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    But are we also supposed to use some sort of variable-pitch parallax barriers so we can treat multiple persons differently? It would get loud and lo-res really fast for all but the loneliest of us.

  10. xchip says:

    just buy a house by the Golden Gate and you dont need this stupid hack!

  11. mrgoogfan says:

    @dan fruzzetti

    those new 3d tvs can display 2 pictures at once, depending on the angle.

  12. imightbefirst...NOT. says:

    2015 is coming soon!

  13. mindbleach says:

    This seems like an incredibly overwrought hack to recreate what could be done with some high-DPI printing, a backlight, and microlens arrays. Even a single-axis-parallax lenticular display would provide better binocular and multi-user support at a fraction of the cost.

  14. Megan says:

    This is truly amazing!!!!! I am impressed. I’m sure there are flaws but still WOW!!!

  15. deyjavont says:

    I am impressed as well. But I would use body heat tracking instead of IR to get rid of that huge dongle. (except what about the dog’s heat?) The uses for the Wii remote are endless

  16. CJ says:

    Looks like a more polished version of JCL’s (open source) project:
    (scroll to the bottom)

  17. bobdole says:

    Why a wiimote?

    Isn’t the wiimote here just being used as an IR webcam? Wouldn’t a $5 webcam be cheaper and easier to integrate and hide in the wall or something?

  18. marzuess says:

    They use wiimote because it uses bluetooth, and there are already programs available to connect it easily to the computer.

  19. Panq says:

    Good idea, but bobdole is right – webcam would be and would allow you to do face tracking instead of wearing some stupid badge.

  20. Osgeld says:

    I thought it was dumb when it showed up on slashdot the other day

    it only works if your wearing a “special” necklace and only works for that one person who is using it

    I dont know about you, but I could come up with a much better use for 4-5 thousand dollars worth of TV’s and a wii, other than showing off someone else’s optical illusion (the trick is as old as the wii itself) and claiming credit

  21. alek says:

    this technology would make for a really cool video game.

  22. AlmostThere says:

    That’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while; very creative use of technology.

  23. eldorel says:

    The simplest method is a depth of field trick used by carnival shows.

    Shine a projector onto the wall, place a false wall 30 inches in front of it. Build your windows into the false wall, viewing the projection screen.

    As you walk around the room, you see the view from whatever angle you are actually standing at.

    The only caveat is that you have to be either viewing a long distance shot or the view would change too much with the minor movements from your head.

    However, a combination of this trick with the auto tracking shown above should be able to give the best of both worlds.

    At more than 24 inches, you rely on the old carnival trick to handle the view adjustments, and at less than 24 inches ( when you’ve walked up to the widow ) the image itself can be adjusted by the above software.

  24. jewbacca says:


    thst is a very good idea. seriously. i only read the comments for this thread to see how this window gets bashed. two plasma displays for a dedicated fake window? tracking broach? lame. again, mindbleach’s idea rocks. simple+cheap+cool=perfect.

  25. Jack says:
  26. Dustin says:

    reminds me of resident evil. working underground wouldn’t be that bad with a few of these :)

  27. Amos says:

    I’m with mindbleach. And if you still want to drop thousands of wingwangs on LCD monitors, you can always use the barrier display tech on them and save a ton on other hardware and power costs.

  28. rallen71366 says:

    If you really feel the need to do this, use a cheap webcam and YAWCAM (java webcam security software), and the carny trick eldorel talked about, and spend a little money on a projector. Then you can implement any kind of effect you want, from a disney-esque magic mirror, to a “Duck Hunt” video game, to whatever you can dream of.

  29. tripointlogic says:

    or just go to the homebrew page on the Wii click on the Demos and download the app yourself for free….. THIS IS NOT A HACK !!!

  30. M4CGYV3R says:

    That’s awesome. I can see it working very well as an anti-cabin fever aid in isolated or underground rooms. I can see this being a good replacement for the ‘artificial sunlight’ systems in underground bunkers or silos.

  31. Video Games People! Think about it…

  32. strider_mt2k says:

    It’s still a garbage-strewn view.
    It’s just now you’re viewing a bunch of garbage you paid a ton of money for.

  33. Peter says:

    You can bet that anyone who designs a bunker meant for long term living will be thinking of something like this to put in there.

  34. hillsurfer says:

    As usual, only a handful of people even get the point.

  35. charper says:

    So the real question:

    Do your windows run Linux?

    *ahem* sorry

  36. fco_bcn says:

    looks like it’s has been done with mocha


  37. Rollyn01 says:


    No. This is an instance of Linux running a virtual version of windows( as the title hints at). :|

  38. sandini says:

    That my idea :) No seriously, is there a technology to make it work for multiple viewers, that would be cool?

  39. JD says:

    What a waste.

    This should be used to create the Zombie Apocalypse.

    All you need is:

    – A 3D projector
    – Several windows and a door in a wall
    – A copy of Left4Dead
    – Guns
    – Mates (optional)

    I’d buy THAT for a dollar!

  40. John says:

    Why this as news post?

    THis isnt new, i know this already for a few year from a person who knows a lot about this.

    Why do they now or this is new?
    It isnt!

    Becouse some guy or girl makes a movie doesnt make anysense to be posted.

  41. malikaii says:

    Didn’t they have windows exactly like this in Total Recall?

  42. parallaxedlife says:

    Visit their website and you’ll see that they’ve integrated the Kinect so you don’t have to wear additional hardware

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