SideBySide projection system enables projected interaction between mobile devices

October 19, 2011, Carnegie Mellon University
SideBySide projection system enables projected interaction between mobile devices
Two-player boxing using the SideBySide system.

Researchers at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a system called SideBySide that enables animated images from two separate handheld projectors to interact with each other on the same surface.

The system, suitable for games, education and a variety of other applications, is self-contained in special . No external cameras or other sensors are required, which enables people to use the projectors to interact with each other anywhere and at anytime. SideBySide also can be used to exchange contact information, or even share data files. The technology can spur a more participatory and intimate style of interaction than is possible with computers or overhead projectors.

"Smartphones have made it possible for us to communicate, play games and retrieve information from the Web wherever we might be, but our interaction with the devices remains a largely solitary, single user experience," said Karl D.D. Willis, a Ph.D. candidate in computational design at Carnegie Mellon and a lab associate at Disney Research. "Now that handheld projectors have become a reality, we finally have a technology that allows us to create a new way for people to interact in the real world."

The handheld projectors are hybrid devices that emit both visible and and contain a camera for monitoring the projected images, a ranging sensor and an inertial measurement unit.

The SideBySide system overview.

The infrared channel plays a key role in enabling interaction. It is used to project markers that help the system recognize when the images are moving or overlapping and to communicate information between the devices.

SideBySide projection system enables projected interaction between mobile devices
The SideBySide prototype device

The researchers have developed a number of applications to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology. Games include Boxing, in which matches are performed without a ring; Cannon, in which players knock a stack of bricks off a platform by firing a cannon ball from one screen to another; and Gorilla, in which one player uses a plane and a net to catch the other player's gorilla. They also have developed a 3D viewer, which allows two users to control and explore a 3D model together, and applications for exchanging contact information and transferring files. A question & answer application can be used to teach basic vocabulary to young children.

SideBySide projection system enables projected interaction between mobile devices
The SideBySide projection engine.

Willis will discuss SideBySide on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) in Santa Barbara, Calif. Conference organizers already have presented SideBySide with UIST's best paper and best demonstration awards. In addition to Willis, the SideBySide development team included Ivan Poupyrev and Moshe Mahler of Disney Research and Scott Hudson, professor in Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Explore further: Casio shows off bulbless 3D-capable projectors

More information: … i_sidebyside_drp.htm

Related Stories

Casio shows off bulbless 3D-capable projectors

June 15, 2011

( -- Casio is currently showing off a line of lamp free projectors, designed for work in corporate and educational settings. The system eliminates the lamp by relying on a system that combines laser, fluorescent ...

3D, 360-degree fog display shown off (w/ video)

March 18, 2011

( -- Any fan of Star Trek knows about the joys of the holodeck. The idea of a 3D, 360-degree immersive digital environment, projected on demand, is an enticing one that has thus far been confined to the silver ...

Perfect projections on surfaces of any shape

August 29, 2007

Projecting brilliantly sharp images as a single picture onto curved surfaces has previously been a very elaborate and expensive process. Now a new software system automatically calibrates the projectors needed so that the ...

Recommended for you

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.