Image courtesy Liwei Chan

New Scientist (08/13/10) De Lange, Catherine

National Taiwan University (NTU) researchers have developed a lamp that can convert a multitouch tabletop display into a three-dimensional (3D) projection. Users viewing an image projected onto a tabletop display can zoom in on specific areas by positioning the lamp device on them. “We combine an infrared projector and a standard color projector to simultaneously project visible content and invisible markers on the table surface,” says NTU’s Li-Wei Chan. The lamp is equipped with infrared cameras and can use the hidden markers to compute its position in three dimensions. The lamp analyzes the information to control the projection of high-resolution images onto the correct place on the tabletop display. The NTU team also has created a tablet computer that enables viewers to see a two-dimensional scene in 3D. Users hold the computer over a specific area on the map, and a 3D view of that area will appear on the screen.

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