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This fancy device turns your entire room into a screen

Augmented reality for the design-minded

Augmented reality on wall
Lightform projections on a wall.
Lightform

Screen fatigue is real. Between phones and laptops and TVs, it seems as if the world is covered in glowing glass boxes.

At first glance it might seems as if Lightform, a new projector system that casts light onto any surface, is part of the problem. Then you see what it can do.

Small white device with camera Lightform

Created by a team of engineers with a background in augmented reality, the small box works like an ultra accurate projector, mapping light onto any shape or surface. The gadget is basically a high-powered computer in a box that comes loaded with a processor and high-resolution camera. Connect it to a projector via HDMI cable, and it’s able to create a fine-tuned map of a room (including the objects in it), and map light in baffling accuracy.

What does this look like? Sometimes like a shimmering cactus.

Gif of shimmering cactus

Other times like a glowing desk.

Desktop with augmented reality words

Basically, Lightform, priced at $699, wants to replace the screens in your life with ambient, projected light. Sure, it’s still effectively a screen, but the beauty is that disappears when you hit the off button.