Interactions Jacob Bagley

Projection Mapping

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.

Disney's Haunted Mansion - Using Projection Mapping

There are drawbacks to using Projection Mapping Software, firstly is light levels. As long as the surface you are projecting onto is dark then there should be a high level of clarity to the visuals. Secondly there is a lot of ratio work put into projection mapping, taking into account the distance and angle of the projection all display pieces are made with prior planning to where the projector will be first. Getting it wrong will mean the projection won't fill the area's that you want it to.

Before the workshop I had only prior experience in using standard home projectors, simply outputting films onto white screens. I had seen projection mapping events before in videos that people had posted online but had no comprehension of how creators make their elaborate displays. My first thoughts about the workshop was how easily it is with todays technology to make your own projection mapping displays, with some free software and any standard projector. We used some software to animate some panels onto the ceiling showed in the video below

Further research and firsthand experience with the software however taught me that whatever projection mapping we produced it was still going to be far off from anything professional, no matter how skilled we were. Big companies like LG spend thousands on on display shows using premium or custom software, with a lot more capacity, tools and choices than what we could get with free software used in the workshops, and not merely as simple as drawing on a tablet.

Projection mapping technology has gotten so advanced that scientists from the University of Tokyo have developed software that will project onto non-rigid surfaces that'll ripple with whatever it's being projected into. Using smart sensors it's even able to load different projections depending on what it's being projected onto. It's a more advanced version of QR mapping technology which uses QR codes to map projections using standard camera's such as the Nintendo Ds.

Visual and Augmented Reality

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.

Before the workshop my only experience with VR and AR was through the Oculus Rift and the Nintendo 3DS's AR reader game. Using the 3DS's 3D camera and some manufactured cards that came with the device you could point the camera at the card and it would generate a character model (of which would be from a popular Nintendo series). Other experience includes watching others use VR in videos, watching their reactions to it and how they use it for entertainment.

The Next step for VR and AR is to break down the line between the two. Traditionally AR has only been limited to 2D, but with new technology fully 3D holograms can be made that can also be interacted with. This esentially brings to life what Sci-Fi fans have been wanting for years, ever since Star Wars a New Hope appeared in cinemas technology has seemingly tried it's was to recreate the holograms shown in the film. AR is also being used to learn about our environment, using technology that'll allow us to find out about the weather by pointing our phones at the sky and pointing our camera at buildings to bring up information about 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.

Development of more powerful microcontrollers seems to be the future, making more complex projects possible. And in the process it may make projects such as Arduino simpler for more novice users. As stated before the use of microcontrollers is endless. Below are two examples of how they can be used, Such as using Arduino to make a radar or using Little-Bits to draw something with precision. Microcontrollers could be the future of Medical Care, for example patients could have patches administered as soon as they enter A&E that automatically checks heart-rate and blood pressure, saving time using the facilities that are otherwise busy.

Created By
Jacob Bagley

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