LuminAR Revolutionizes the Desk Lamp

by Nancy DuVergne Smith on July 8, 2010

in Engineering, Research

Grad student Natan Linder directs the LuminAR lamp.

Grad student Natan Linder directs the LuminAR lamp.

Maybe Pixar had it right with their 1986 computer-animated film, Luxo Jr. Lamps do have revolutionary potential. But while little Luxo Jr. could bounce a ball, a new MIT invention can do  much, much more.  LuminAR, invented by grad student Natan Linder, is a really smart desk lamp that can deliver just-in-time projected information and its brainy bulb can work in an ordinary desk lamp.

The LuminAR Lamp has an articulated robotic arm that moves at your command and projects digital data wherever you point it. Linder says it “releases the pixels from the screen” and can put digital information virtually anywhere.

It’s really the “bulb” that does the magic—although it looks more like an assembly of gadgets than an ordinary light bulb. The LuminAR Bulb is, in essence, a Pico-projector, camera, and wireless computer.

You can watch a LabCast video of Linder explaining LuminAR, a project of the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces project.

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