Light Bulb Form-factor Computer

This computer can be mounted in any standard light bulb socket. It uses a pico projector combined with a camera to generate a touch display wherever you shine it. The photo above and the video after the break show the bulb in a motorized lamp arm but that’s just smoke and mirrors, the bulb itself is the core concept. We think there’s real potential for home-built versions. We’ve seen touch displays similar to this that mount on the side of a laptop, but why have the computer around at all? Ditch the USB connection for wireless and have it connect to your home server for processing power. It becomes a perfect solution for places that aren’t traditionally computer friendly. For instance, that kitchen computer you don’t want to touch with dough-encrusted hands becomes washable when the display is projected on a cutting board.[youtube=]

[Thanks Ryan]

21 thoughts on “Light Bulb Form-factor Computer

  1. Very Nice, imagine having the ability to connect this to any light socket when you need an interface to a PC without needing to lug a monitor, keyboard and mouse around. It would be perfect for IT repair personnel.

  2. It’s so cool that the computer/projector/camera combo fits an existing standard light bulb socket! The real draw for me is the robotic arm interface. Being able to move my monitor on my desk at will would be fantastic!

    I could also easily see this as, say, a dock for an Android device, making your phone interface projected on your desk/lap/etc. It’s certainly make watching YouTube or reading e-mail easier on the eyes.

    I’d love to see the two versions working together: Have the robotic portion act as your desk display/keyboard, while the lamp version is pointed at a static point on the wall. This would allow for a flexible, multi-display interface composed entirely of robotic or flex-lamp fixtures.

    Need more monitors? Screw in some more bulbs. Suddenly that lamp with four flex arms has just become one of the most advanced computing devices in the world :)

  3. Pico projector touch-anywhere implementation on a robotic arm. Okay, cool. That’s one robotic arm more than the last three similar projects I saw, and I’m always up for a gratuitous robotic arm.

    But that said, it doesn’t actually fit in a light bulb socket, now does it. Between those data cables and it being too heavy for the desk lamp to support…nice concept video.

  4. This would be perfect for my workbench. I usually have a work lamp for the light, and a laptop with schematics taking up too much space. With this, I could project the schematic on my work.
    Quick access to PCBs, diagrams, 3d CAD files is exactly what i need.

  5. Does anyone know if these pico projectors have keystone adjustment? It seems unlikely but I’ve some plans in a restricted space and I don’t really want to drop hundreds on a powerful data projector that is complete overkill.

  6. given the usb cable from the back of the project and camera combo, i suspect its basically a io interface for a more conventional computer housed somewhere else.

    still, a dual setup where your reading lamp becomes the keyboard and a more ordinary pico-projector makes use of the wall is as interesting, as it frees up space.

  7. What would be cool is if there was a way for it to access the network through the light socket similar to the powerline solutions for home networking. Then you wouldn’t need to worry about connectivity in areas of the home with bad wireless and with powerline now reaching 200mbit it would be extremely capable.

  8. or how about replacing the light socket with a ethernet port? There was a recent announcement about ethernet potentially replacing usb, hdmi and power cables in one go.

  9. I wonder just how well several of these would work together (interoperability). If you could manage a 2 * 2 matrix with four of these, you could probably scale to any arbitrary size. It would be great for engineering (CAD) applications, because you wouldn’t have to sacrifice resolution for size.

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