A Hacked Lamp Turns Multiple Mobile Devices Into a Single Giant Display

How many mobile devices do you carry with you on a daily basis? A couple of smartphones, and maybe a tablet? When you get to work that makes for quite a few displays floating around, and researchers at MIT have come up with software that can let them all function as one giant touchscreen, no matter how they're arranged on a desk.

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There is one additional piece of hardware required: a depth camera-equipped desk lamp that's able to look down on all the devices to track the position and orientation of each one. This allows the software to display the proper area from a larger image—like a map or a flowchart—on each device, without the overall image looking like a fragmented broken mirror.

The software and schematics behind the project are being distributed as a free open-source resource, so if you want to try it out yourself you'll need a bit of tinkering know-how to realize the setup, as it's unfortunately not as easy as just downloading an iOS or Android app onto your devices. At least not yet, because once that lamp is removed from the equation, this could be an incredibly useful tool. [HuddleLamp via Ubergizmo]

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DISCUSSION

denver-is-too-damn-high
Denver is too damn high

Hey MIT masterminds, here's an idea:

Instead of a special light, what if you held a spare phone or a mirror above the arrangement and it snaps a picture of the layout, adjusts as needed.

Problem with this design: you'd need to keep the devices oriented just so or re-take the picture as devices move but, it's an alternative to the lamp.