Interactive Laser Drawing (graffiti)

This hack was linked a bit back in February, but it just didn’t get a decent write up. They used this 5000 lumen projector, a zoom lens video camera and a 60mw green laser pointer to generate interactive graffiti on nearby buildings. Most of the link love focused on the show-off video. I’m surprised that nobody mentioned the most obvious use: a laser pointer reactive white board. I could have loads of fun with this and my laptop during presentations. Thanks to [Brishen] for reminding me of this one.

14 thoughts on “Interactive Laser Drawing (graffiti)

  1. I agree with Bird, this is seriously great thing. The way it responded so smoothly to the laser pointer input is hard for me to even believe! But assuming it’s not faked (and there’s no real reason I can think of for it to be anything but real) it is a sweet, sweet use of technology.

  2. i saw the video a while back and it really is very cool indeed. I think the other cool thing about it is the simplicity too, provided you can get yourself a big projector and kick arse laser too.

    i Cant really understand why you would get into trouble for it though unless you pointed it against a building, painted a bullseye and said terrorists land here.

  3. I’m really stupid – for some inexplicable reason, I thought that they modded the box to project a laser beam.. but the laser pointer only acts as a brush in this case.

    Still, very nice.
    And, love the idea of a whiteboard – a lot of projectors come with built-in laser pointer… just need to add a webcam and some software…

  4. You dont have to do the setup that they did. All you really need to do it is a camera with video output, tv tuner and projector if you want to. There’s links to the program they use and the setup stuff around the site somewhere, I played around with it in february when i checked it out. Pretty fun to play with, and its more fun with a green laser : D

  5. Very cool. I have a brother who did some work very similar to this for his undergrad thesis. He used a plain red laser and a conventional webcam/projector to make the laser dot act as a wireless mouse.

  6. this was the source of inspiration for my group’s project too. We made a smaller scale implementation using an Altera Cyclone II FPGA, an M4088 monochrome camera and a standard projector. Since our implementation was only based on light intensity, you could use anything bright enough to trip the threshold (but in a dark enough room too). Check out the implementation details and the videos section too at

  7. Kewl project. A system that can do something similar, but doesn’t rely on image recognition: see http://www.ultimatepointer. Upoint relies on sensing the orientation of the remote by means of a compass. The screens position is indicated by the user once, by pointing to the screen-corners. After that, the computer is able to calculate where the user is pointing – and is able to do anything with that point-of-aim.

    Any comments: come see my website!

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