Augmenting reality can be tricky. So far we’ve worked with screens, trying to layer objects over the world as we perceive it, and that’s incredibly challenging because A. transparent screens haven’t really become mainstream (or cheap) yet, and B. real-time motion tracking is a computer’s worst nightmare and one of its biggest hurdles. While our vision of AR has been limited to display-screens and reflections, HTC and Swift Creatives may have paved an easier way for layering objects onto our world in a way that is easy, and more importantly, useful. Their answer? projectors.
A projector, by its definition, layers a projection on an object, so working with a projector that can simply project onto an object makes more sense than having a transparent display in front of your eyes that creates objects that seem believable, but can’t keep up with your head’s randomized movements. However, with HTC’s AR Lamp, it’s a lot like projection mapping. The lamp maps relevant materials and objects onto the world in front of you. Take for instance working at a kitchen counter-top. The AR Lamp works a lot like IKEA’s parchment paper, giving you bespoke guides and information you may need. It actively tracks your progress, updating as you go. (I imagine the AR Lamp could be an absolute gem of a device in training doctors for operations too)
Yes, while a lamp’s projection may not necessarily be as 3D as, say, something you would view from a Hololens, it’s much more useful, and less intrusive too. The fact that it isn’t body-mounted or worn, gives it a lot of freedom to be state-of-the-art and useful, rather than amateurish and wearable. The lamp allows for collaboration and communication with other people remotely through a live feed, and even comes with smart-voice recognition, letting you talk to AR-projecting device (probably a first of its kind… most AR devices are computers with controllers, and not smart-gadgets.) Its clean, Nordic design language allows it to fit seamlessly into all homes, changing lives and upgrading the meaning of the smart-home forever… and yes, it works as a lamp too.
Designer: Swift Creatives for HTC