A facelift for the view out your livingroom window


[Ken Kawamoto] turned the rather bland view from his livingroom into that of some high-priced real estate. It only works at night, which is going to seem odd since the image above shows a daytime scene. But it’s still a pretty sweet concept.

The video below shows the actual view from his window. We don’t think it’s all that bad (we once lived in a ground-level apartment looking out on a parking lot… yuck!). But the view of the Abbey of St. Étienne in Caen, France seen above is much better. He simply put a projector on his balcony and closed the light-colored blinds. So far he has to bring it in after each use, but we see this as more of a thing to use only when entertaining anyway.

We’ve seen a few other attempts over the years at hacking your view. Here’s one that adds fake windows using LCD screens. The thing that makes that one work is the ability of the system to track the viewer and change the perspective accordingly.


  1. A slide projector and a first surface mirror might be a better, and cheaper option. Of course then you need slides…

  2. John Dog says:

    So It turns out Back to the Future Part 2 had it nailed on then! Now where’s my flying car?

  3. ChrisC says:

    If it can only be at night then it won’t help their circadian rhythm much. The more we look the more it seems that living in poorly lit rooms and artificial lighting have hidden costs.
    Something like this during day time would be very cool though. With cheap 3d screens soon we’ll all be living in holodecks!

  4. tachyon1 says:

    Frosted glass would work great with this I bet, especially if your real view is ugly anyway.

  5. AP says:

    Is there a reason not to put the projector inside facing the other way?

  6. Sasha says:

    Ha! Loved the people standing on your balcony during the thunderstorm! Great way to scare the shit out of someone!

    On a side note, projector lamps only last several thousand (if not just a thousand) hours. Running this each night can end up being quite costly, seeing as there is a oligopoly on these lamps.

  7. roboman2444 says:

    Now if it could only head track….

  8. Error_user_unknown says:

    there was a hack on HaD not long ago that projected across multiple surfaces and compensated for there real world position. combine blind motion tracking and this could be a great window replacement.

  9. spiralbrain says:

    This was done by Johnny Chung Lee many years ago I guess.

  10. Erik Johansson says:

    If you have the space, just positioning large posters ~1,5 meters from the windows with lots of mood lighting will do the same. Sure the big custom posters are going to be around 400 USD, but you can get promotional posters second hand with the right connections.

    But the space that the projector or the posters take up is usually more expensive than the investment.

  11. fartface says:

    So how did he waterproof the projector? Otherwise I would love to see how it looks when it is raining hard outside.

  12. Tony says:

    not really a hack.. more of an application for a projector…

  13. HackJack says:

    It is a hack in my book.

    But I think projecting daylight scene during night time just does not feel right, unless you are a night shifter. Perhaps having the balcony covered with dark cloth and use during daytime?

    On the other hand, with HDTV going as low as $500 for a 50″. It would not be too difficult to make a fake 50″ or window (or 2) out of it. You can have all the ocean view you want. Even add a fan for artificial sea breeze.

  14. radion39 says:

    Why not instead of a static image put a internet or satellite high def stream of many live webcam in the world (and timeshift it for local time day/night)

  15. limbo says:

    I was thinking, couldn’t you do something similar with mirrors and lenses, so all of the windows in your house have a south-facing view? and confuse visitors.

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