Interactive projector that turns any flat surface into a touch screen wins UK design award
By Grant Banks
December 13, 2010
Light Blue Opitcs (LBO) has won the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards 2010 prize for Product Design with its Light Touch interactive projector. The device uses an infra-red touch sensing system that transforms a projected image into a virtual 10-inch touch screen. It allows users to interact with multimedia content and applications by touching the image, which can be projected onto any flat surface.
LBO’s proprietary holographic laser projection technology (HLP) was first reported on by Gizmag in 2009, while still in development. The system creates bright, high-quality WVGA resolution video images that are kept in focus with software that corrects for distortion and optical aberrations, enabling table-top projection. Light Touch utilizes an infra-red touch sensing system that transforms the projected image into a virtual 10-inch touch screen. Use of a Class 1 safety laser makes the HPL system eye safe.
WiFi and Bluetooth connections enable wireless device-to-device communication. Light Touch has 2GB of onboard Flash memory and a Micro SD card slot that supports up to 32GB. The device can be battery operated with a run-time of 2 hours or wall powered for continuous use. Light Touch runs Adobe Flash Lite 3.1, which provides access to a large developer community and enables rapid development of applications such as those that provide interactive wall projections in the home and in retail spaces.
The HPL technology was awarded the Product Design Innovation Award for 2010 at the IET Innovation Awards (UK), as the judging panel felt that the product both fulfilled all of the major and most of the minor selection criteria for the award, and also believed it would lead to a wide range of potential applications and products. Light Touch was also named a CES Innovations Honoree in two categories – Media Players and Personal Electronics – earlier this year.
Light Blue Optics is a privately-funded company developing and supplying miniature projection systems for use in high volume applications in markets including automotive, digital signage and consumer electronics.