Projection Mapping technology has been around since the 60's. Also known as video mapping or spatial augmented reality, projection mapping is a type of projection technology used to turn objects, often irregularly shaped, into a display surface for video projection. Early use of projection mapping can be dated as early as the 60's when it was used it as part of the original Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney World. Although it was primitive it was still way ahead of its time. Using projection mapping anyone can turn flat surfaces into moving works of art, it can even be used on non-flat surfaces to virtually repaint it however you want. You mostly see projection mapping on the sides of buildings as part of advertisement events and concert performances or in elaborate theatre shows like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which uses a combination of stage performance and Projection mapped film.
Virtual Reality technology simulates and recreates virtual spaces using headsets that straps to your head, enclosing any visuals from the outside world and focusing your eyes on whats being shown. Virtual reality is a lot more recent than Projection Mapping. It's been in the eyes of many as the future of immersion and escapism. Used mostly in video gaming hardware such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the Playstation VR are just some of whats available in Virtual Reality gaming. Users simply strap the VR device to their head and their eyes match with a screen, of which will track to your head movements using a gyroscope. The idea is that the headset will remove users from what is reality into a separate reality that they can explore to varying levels. Early VR devices such as the sensorama brought the concept into life, developed by Morton Heilig and patented in 1962 it allowed people to experience VR for the very first time. Sparking an endless obsession with VR being the absolute key for the future.
Augmented reality like Microsoft's Kinect uses projection in the form of thousands of tiny dots around the room that calculate and track the distance. Any differentiations in the distance such as a person moving in front of it will alert the Kinect to do tasks and allow the user to activate gesture controls. The Difference between Augmented reality and Virtual Reality is that it layers components on top of reality, merging generated elements with real elements, whilst VR completely replaces reality. Augmented reality is now being used in mobile apps such as Pokemon Go and Aurasma. Whilst pokemon go only generates monsters on screen the maps with whatever the camera is being pointed at Aurasma generates images based on what the camera is being pointed at, tagging objects beforehand it triggers animations to pop-up with even sound to go with it.
A Microcontroller is a small computer, embedded into another form of technology in order to control its functions based on the input. Each microcontroller is specifically made for one purpose depending on what it's being used for, normally to make our lives simpler. Using a Read Only Memory (ROM) it can only perform the task it is programmed to do. Small and only uses a minimum of 50 milliwatts to work they are diverse and can be used in an infinite amount of ways. Lacking wires they provide a less messy way of operating devices such as Television remotes, Mobiles and LCD Screens.
Before the workshops I had no idea Microcontrollers even existed let alone how much they are used in our everyday environment. Any and every electronical device we use will have some sort of microcontroller in it which blew my mind seeing as I use technology every single day, yet I still didn't know what they were. During the workshop we used Little-Bits, tiny magnetic chips that connect together to create a sort of circuit. Using charming colours it was a treat to play around with it, creating some spectacular and bizarre creations in the process. The Kit also came with easy to use instructions explaining what each chip did and what possible ways you could use them.
The Second bit of technology we used was Arduino. which was really quite difficult to get the hang of. The kit was really small and complex and really hard to work out. Having no experience in electronics or circuit boards I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, the instructions were clear and told me exactly where I needed to put each of the wires but that still didn't help the fact that I had no idea what I was building. Eventually I build something that would turn an LED Bulb on once complete, but by this point I decided that Arduino was too out of my comprehension and best left for the professionals.