Khronos Projector at NextFest 2006

The Khronos Projector is a very cool interface design, even though it is merely an art project. And yes, I know, I'm really late with this article, since it's from the excellent NextFest 2006 exhibition. (At this rate, I won't be done until next year's NextFest...)

Anyway, this is why the Khronos Projector is so cool. It uses a kind of flexible sheet screen; the projector itself stores a video of a single scene over time. When you press on the flexible screen, the projected scene varies in time. The video shown below shows you what I mean.

(Khronos Projector video)

It can be used to explore different scenes over time; it can also be used to push your way through different parts of an object.

(Alvaro Cassinelli demonstrates at NextFest 2006)

I can assure you that it is lots of fun to play with, and provides a one-of-a-kind interface to explore. I spent at least ten minutes exploring the cityscape shown in the picture above; your mind can't quite decide whether pressing on the image and bringing nightfall is an exploration of the future or a memory of the past.

The spatio-temporal fusion algorithm is the core of the Khronos program: it consist on blending hundreds of images from a movie sequence to produce a unique displayed image. The blending operation is controlled by a "spatio-temporal filter", or "spatio-temporal cutting surface", which is a two-dimensional surface lying inside the "spatio-temporal volume" of the movie. The fused image is the union of all the intersections of the spatio-temporal surface with each image in the sequence.

The program (extremely computationally hungry) was prototyped using Matlab, and finally coded in C++ using OpenGL. The present version can display the dynamic blended image both in 2D but also in 3D by mapping the image on a NURBS-generated surface representing the actual time/pressure map.

Read about other multi-touch interfaces, including Apple's iPhone (I'm waiting for the flexible Khronos screen ;). If you're as behind in your reading as I am, take a look these amazing technologies from Wired NextFest 2006. Read more about the Khronos Projector.

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