If you’ve seen the latest nighttime show at Cinderella’s Castle in Disney or Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios where the entire building seems to come to life with images that transform the castles into pulsing, moving, dynamic pieces of art, then you’ve experienced projection mapping. A previously expensive process, this technology could soon be accessible to anyone who wants to utilize this form of augmented reality for an affordable price and with relative ease.
A soon to be released computer and 3D scanning device called Lightform connects to any video projector, scans a given scene and allows you to project mapped images onto the surface. The Lightform team is comprised of the same team behind the AR prototypes IllumiRoom and RoomAlive and were innovators in projection mapping at Disney Imagineering, so there’s no wonder why this is an anticipated release that could bring projection mapping to nearly every mall, lobby, event or even home in the near future.
A compact wireless computer and camera system, the LF1, connects to the projector. The LF1 scans the area in view and automatically senses 3D objects. Using the included software, Lightform Creator, the user can select on objects and drag and drop any of hundreds of intelligent effects and stock videos onto a desired object creating an interactive display that can be used for virtually anything such as signage, artwork, advertising or decor. It can even compensate for movement, so that if the object being projected onto moves, so does the projected image for a smooth and awe inspiring effect.
Expected to ship in November 2018, you can currently reserve an LF1, which includes access to Lightroom Creator software for $699. There is also a kit available that is comprised of the LF1, access to the software, an Epson 1060 projector and a tripod for $1499.