3D sphere display and controller

[Nirav] has been working on a spherical display for about a year now, and he just came up with a great way of interacting with this screen: an adjacent reality tracker that rotates the display to match the current orientation of the controller.

Earlier, [Nirav] built an 8-inch sphere display using a few 3D printed parts and a Showwx laser pico projector. The display looked great, but [Nirav] had no way to interact with it. To solve that problem, he put an inertial measurement unit inside a 3d printed model of the globe. The IMU communicates with a computer to read the rotation and orientation of [Nirav]‘s controller and adjust the spherical display accordingly.

It’s a very nice build that gets very close to futuristic sci-fi displays. At least now, [Nirav] can interact with the awesome satellite tracking app and continental drift simulation he created.

There’s a bunch of videos [Nirav] put up demoing what his display can do. You can check those out after the break.

via MAKE


Comments

  1. Alex ~ says:

    Douglas Coupland – jPod

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPod

    Something similar is mentioned towards the end.

  2. Wity says:

    Beautiful sphere, but i cant understand why they use bluetooth for communication.It takes almost half of the board and its power hungry…

    • deathventure says:

      Because it’s easy and cheap. Direct serial communications. The module is fully encapsulated on its own, and readily available. Range is good, power hungry isn’t an issue in this instance. You gotta encompass a variety of reasons whether or not to use something. Automatically discounting just because it seems to be a large module and because it’s power usage is more than other options probably wasn’t an issue with him and his interface requirements.

      • Wity says:

        I dont think so, range is poor, but i think isn’t planed to control it from 100m.But power is consumption is problem.It could be way more smaller, smaller battery, longer life and maybe it could use some non rechargeable battery etc.Cheap?? only slave modules are cheap,host modules are more expensive.I would go for NRF24LO1+ modules or something similar.

      • deathventure says:

        I’ve used that particular BlueSMIRF module get 30 foot range easily. Why you would want anything further for an application like this I’m not sure. It’s a stock item and no additional programming necessary and interfaces using a simple and common rx tx setup. Anyways, this project is still evolving.

      • nrp says:

        I went with Bluetooth because most people have laptops that already support it, allowing the Tracker to work without a host side dongle.

        I actually am planning on using Nordic for the next version. Range isn’t an issue, but latency is. Without access to the source of the Bluetooth stack running on the RN-42, I can’t do anything to improve latency. There is also a limit to the control I have over the Bluetooth stack running on the end user’s desktop, which also adds latency.

        The lower power consumption and smaller board area are just nice extras. The lower price is sort of negated by the need to develop a USB dongle to use with it.

  3. Hirudinea says:

    This guy could get a job with any Bond villain he wants!

  4. Jason says:

    Looks a lot like Jamstec’s Earth Simulator:

    http://www.jamstec.go.jp/esc/event/ofes-workshop/images/ofes_ws2008.jpg

    Though theirs has a supercomputer powering it.

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