Disney Research labs in Pittsburgh have developed new augmented reality technology called HideOut, which could take books into an entirely new direction. HideOut explores how mobile projectors can enable new forms of interaction with digital content projected on everyday objects such as books, walls, game boards, tables, and many others.
Disney elaborated on what the new technology brings to the table by saying, “We enable seamless interaction between the digital and physical world using specially formulated infrared-absorbing markers—hidden from the human eye, but visible to a camera embedded in a compact mobile projection device. Digital imagery directly augments and responds to the physical objects it is projected on, such as an animated character interacting with printed graphics in a storybook.”
It will be interesting to see if mobile projector technology will catch on. It is important that the technology run in concert with the hardware manufacturers and the big media companies. Disney is probably in the best position with its Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney properties to make the entire concept work. Once HideOut is more refined, can you image how puzzle games and ebooks will be transformed? The video below shows that it is a proof of concept and fairly rough around the edges. Still, companies need to start focusing on other avenues for their digital properties, instead of just iOS and Android apps.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.