Bonfire – interactivity using pico projectors and cameras

This video shows a demonstration of Bonfire, an additional interface for computers. It consists of a pico projector and camera hang on the back of either side of a laptop. The projector displays information on the table top and the camera monitors the area for interaction. It can recognize your hand or objects such as a smartphone or headphones and react accordingly. An accelerometer in the laptop picks up tapping (we’d guess you have to tap pretty hard) and there is also support for gestures. This was presented at 2009 UIST and unfortunately the published article is not available for free [Thanks for the link Ciflet].

We hope to see this kind of thing, as well as skin based input, come to the market some day. Until then, you’ll have to build your own.

[via Procrastineering]


  1. Phil says:

    Good idea, but currently not clean and “ökonom” enought. Fine :) lg phil

  2. mrgoogfan says:

    seems kind of laggy, but it’s a nice concept. however, a lot of people use their laptop ON THEIR LAP. The projectors may work if you are really fat, but other than that, they would project somewhere undesirable.

  3. tylerni7 says:

    Using something like a piezoelectric pick-up on the surface of the table might work nicer than an accelerometer, that tapping looked downright painful…

  4. JViz says:

    Great, another patent on something entirely obvious. Shouldn’t my phone count as prior art? It can already do face detection and bar code reading. Just because it can’t tell what a coffee cup is yet, does that really make it different in practice?

  5. Jeff says:

    Reminds me of how some technologies looked before they became popular… looking forward to seeing where they go with this, but I’m not going to buy something that makes me pound my finger on the table.

  6. Afterm4th says:

    This technology is old. Look up “sixth sense”

  7. ciflet says:

    I think the article is indeed available for free:

  8. Hast says:

    I’ve seen concepts where they used microphones to detect touch on a surface. Similar to this but IIRC they didn’t have to place them around the surface. In fact, they may have used a cell phone to do it.

    In any case it should be possible to integrate into the bottom of a laptop so it “listens” to the surface it sits on.

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