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Disney uses pico projector to bring its magic to augmented reality storybooks, games | ExtremeTech

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Once upon a time, the arena of interactive storybooks was filled with both choose-your-own-adventure books, or those big picture books with the plastic strip on the side that had buttons, which when pressed, would play a sound bite relevant to the story. Both types of books are fun, but thanks to devices like smartphones and the PSP and Nintendo DS, the world received much more sophisticated “storybooks” in the form of visual novels. However, a visual novel game doesn’t exactly keep the charm and feel of reading a story to your child before bed. With Disney’s project HideOut, a mobile projector is used to create an augmented reality storybook.

The basic explanation of the technology at work is simple enough. The book has special infrared-absorbing ink — invisible to the human eye — placed on specific areas of the page. Standard printer ink can be printed over the infrared ink, so a storybook can have normal imagery, but the imagery can actually be tracked. The mobile projector uses a built-in camera to sense the ink, then projects digital images onto the page’s surface that are animated to interact with the markers.

Cool embedded video in the article (hint hint, Adam)

This is smothered in awesome sauce:

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