Disney is experimenting with pico projectors to bring children’s books to life. With Disney’s project HideOut, a mobile projector is used to create an augmented reality storybook.
The book has special infrared-absorbing ink — invisible to the human eye — placed on specific areas of the page. Standard printer ink can be printed over the infrared ink, so a storybook will look like any other children’s book. But because of the infrared ink, the imagery can be tracked. The mobile projector uses a built-in camera to sense the ink, then projects digital images onto the page’s surface that are animated to interact with the story-line.
The HideOut project combines a special IR camera and a Microvision SHOW WX projector to achieve this augmented reality experience. Disney is also experimenting with using this projector technology for board games. Still in the research phase, there is no word as to when this might be available to the masses.
Projector market analyst firm PMA Research has been following the Pico projector market since it’s inception, and the Toy and Gaming segment continues to grow. With a name like Disney behind an application like this, pico projectors are sure to gain popularity.