MotionBeam: Interactive Mobile Projectors

  • What is MotionBeam?
    The MotionBeam project explores new forms of interaction using handheld projectors. With our prototype system, users interact and control projected characters by moving and gesturing with the projection device that is enhanced with motion sensing system. The interaction principles are partially based on fundamental principles that we adapted from animation and comic art, such us secondary motion and closure. This creates a unified interaction style where sensor input and projector output are tied together within a single device.
    Our character and racing game applications show how MotionBeam can be used with mobile games. It can also be utilized for augmented reality interaction by linking projected content to physical objects in the environment. We envision MotionBeam as a key component in a new 'game projector' platform where the real world becomes a playground and users interact directly with each other and the environment. 
  • In the MotionBeam character game the user guides a character by pointing up, down, left and right with the projector. The user leads the character along a trail of stars to locate its missing vehicle while avoiding a hostile character.
  • In the MotionBeam racing game the user steers the character's vehicle by angling with the projector. The user must guide the character past a number of turns and obstacles to reach the end of the track without falling off.
  • MotionBeam interaction techniques are based on the control of an object attached to the end of a metaphorical beam.
  • MotionBeam builds on a rich history of using hand-manipulated projected images in story telling such as utsuhie in Japan.
  • MotionBeam interaction principles were adapted from animation and comic art forming basic building blocks for designing complex interaction scenarious for a broad variety of applications.
  • The disassembled MotionBeam prototype device. From left to right, a motion sensor unit, a handheld projector, and an iPod Touch
  • A game sequence from the MotionBeam character game.
  • A game sequence from the MotionBeam racing game.
  • Infrared tags are used to link interaction to the physical environment. Here a projected character starts bouncing when it encounters a trampoline in the environment.
  • Projected characters can even push and actuate real physical objects 
    in the environment.
  • Publications
    Willis, K.D.D., Poupyrev, I., and Shiratori, T. MotionBeam: A Metaphor for Character Interaction with Handheld Projectors. In Proc. of ACM CHI. 2011: pp. 1031–1040 [PDF].
    Willis, K., Poupyrev, I. MotionBeam: Designing for Movement with Handheld Projectors. Extended Proceedings of CHI 2010, Late-Breaking Results, 2010: ACM: pp. 3253-3258 [PDF].
    Media, Press
    Team and Credits
    The MotionBeam project is being developed at Disney Research Pittsburgh by Karl D.D. Willis, Ivan Poupyrev and Takaaki Shiratori.
    3D models and animations were designed by Keiko Nakao.