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2013年8月24日土曜日

Moving Windows, a simple way to hack the view from your room

Objectives

My personal view on living spaces is that, the single most important aspect (apart from keeping rain out, etc), is having a great view from your window.
Although the flat I live in now has a wonderful park-side view, it does lose its freshness after 3 years of living in the same place.
This is unfortunate, as most people cannot move houses every time they get bored of the view.

The "Moving Windows" project is an attempt to hack the view from your window, by dynamically projecting images onto your curtain.



The Setup

Put a wide-angle projector in your balcony.
The specs you require depend on the size of your window and balcony, but for most cases, wide-angle+brightness are two important features.
I used a BenQ MW814ST, which is fairly cheap, very wide-angle (can project a 95 inch screen from a distance of 1m), and very very bright (2500 lumens).
It is also highly critical that you do not simply leave the projector outside; build a rain proof casing, or bring the projector in after every use.  I do the latter.

Then, connect the projector to your PC and close the curtains (which are, preferably, white).

Project things


Simply project images of woodland, the beach, underwater, or whatever, and the results are quite stunning.
The slight blurring of the images due to irregularities of the surface of the curtain, and shadows created by the window frames create a net-effect of making it seem as though you are looking through lace curtains to a different world outside your room:

Living in the mountains...

or by the sea...
or under the sea...

or in Caen...

or in orbit around the Earth.


The images don't necessarily have to be sceneries- you could also create shadows to make it seem as if people are on your balcony:
"They" are here.
In the video I posted above, I've also shown how you can simulate a thunder storm.

Todos

  • I should find a way to add blurring to give images a more realistic "looking through lace curtains" effect
  • I haven't really thought about viewing positions and the FOV/viewpoint of the images.  Maybe I could use a camera+face recognition setup to dynamically change the view in the window? (like the experiment I did years ago here:


  • The effect of displaying shadows of people was unexpectedly very interesting (and scary).  There are some things I'd like to experiment here, like interacting with shadow people (eg: "Chase off the Burglar!" game)

Conclusion

Very cheap and simple, fairly promising.  Great way to brighten up a house party.

1 件のコメント:

  1. I guess that your idea would justify buying a big flat screen and keeping it on forever.
    Specially if you live in a room without a window!
    I loved your picture from outerspace!

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