Nov 23, 2010

Light Touch Interactive Projector; Holographic Laser Projection (HLP) "How it Works": Update on Light Blue Optics (Videos, links)

It has been about a year since I wrote about Light Blue Optics, "a privately-funded company developing and supplying miniature projection systems for use in high volume applications in markets including automotive, digital signage and consumer electronics." Light Blue Optics is located in Cambridge, UK, and has a development facility in Colorado Springs.

Light Touch Interactive Projector

Holographic Laser Projection (HLP): How it Works

A Touch Screen Table
Brendan O'Brian, QSR 11/23/10

"Light Blue Optics, which rolled out the Light Touch in January, is working with several restaurant chains to put its technology on tables...“You can project menus onto the table so the customer can sit down and order their meal,” says Tamara Roukaerts, director of marketing communications at Light Blue Optics. “They can also watch videos of the chef preparing their meal through a live video feed.”"
Light Blue Optics turns KFC tables into touch screens
Roland Gribben, The Telegraph 10/11/10

HLP technology, and how it can be used for practical purposes, is further explained in the following white papers:
Buckley, E., Lacoste, L., Stindt, D. Rear-view virtual image displays. SID (Society for Information Display), Vehicles and Photons - 16th Annual Symposium on Vehicle Displays, 10/15/09
Abstract: "Light Blue Optics holographic laser projection technology can be utilised to create a virtual image display which, with a volume enclosing less than 700cc, exhibits a form-factor consistent with integration into a rear-view mirror. By combining the visual accommodation and concomitant reaction time benefits of a head-up display with the ability to present high resolution safety-critical information in a rear-view off-axis configuration with large eyebox, significant potential safety benefits can result."

Buckley, E., Tindt, D., Isele, R.  Novel Human-Machine Interface (HMI) Design Enabled by Holographic Laser Projection SID 2009 Symposium, 6/2/09

Abstract: "Despite the current proliferation of in-car flat panel displays, designers continue to investigate alternatives to flat and rectangular thin-film transistor (TFT) panels – principally to obtain differentiation by freedom of design using, for example, free-form shapes, round displays, flexible displays or mechanical 3D solutions. A perfect demonstration was provided at the 2008 Paris Motor Show by the BMW Mini Center Globe, a novel instrument cluster design which combines lighting, a circular flat panel and a holographic laser projector provided by Light Blue Optics (LBO) to redefine the state of the art in human-machine interface (HMI)...In this paper, the authors will show how the incorporation of LBO’s holographic laser projection technology can allow the construction of a unique display technology like the Mini Center Globe, and how such a combination of technologies represents a significant advance in the current state of the art in automotive displays."
The Story Behind this Post
I was having one of my occasional vivid "technology dreams" just before my dog woke me up in the middle of the night tonight.  I was driving around in a futuristic car that had all sorts of cool technologies, including a holographic side-view mirror, similar to the one I blogged about in a 2009 post about Blue Light Optics.  This inspired me take a quick look at what the company is doing now.  

The dream that entertained me tonight was probably triggered by what I read just before I went to sleep- a call for papers posted by Albrecht Schmidt on Facebook: "Call for Papers - Theme Issue on Automotive User Interfaces for an upcoming edition of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.   If you are curious,   here's an example of one of my blog posts that was inspired by one of my geek-tech-dreams:  "Last Night I Dreamt about Haptic Touch Screen Overlays".  

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