Real-world game interface – Twinkle

Real-world game interface – Twinkle

Twinkle, developed by a research group from Tokyo University and Keio University, is an AR interface which uses a compact projector to interact with physical surfaces.

The physical environment illuminated by the projector is recognized by the camera fixed to the projector. Sound and pictures are generated in real time, and change depending on the shape and color of the objects in the environment as well as in relation to the player's movements.

As an example application for Twinkle, the group is using it for a game where a character can interact with a variety of landscapes.

"In this demo, the character comes out and walks on a physical surface, or collides with obstacles. If the character hits the ceiling, they can't go any further. We've also created a variety of actions; for example, if characters encounter flames, they catch fire, and if they encounter water, they get wet."

The device consists of a compact projector, camera, and acceleration sensor. By analyzing images from the camera in real time, Twinkle recognizes the user's movements, the distance between the device and the projection surface, collisions between projected pictures and actual objects, and the color and shape of objects. Fast movements that can't be detected by the camera, and the direction of gravity, are detected by the acceleration sensor, and the information is supplemented by image processing.

"Currently, all the processing is done with a PC. But we'd like to use this system in a mobile device similar to the iPhone, by attaching a small projector, so people can take it out quickly and use it anywhere."

Twinkle can be used in everyday locations, such as on desks, walls, and ceilings, without needing AR markers and complex motion capture techniques. From now on, the group wants to develop applications enabling several players to bring their characters together, so they can compete or collaborate.

Related Links :
- Twinkle - Tachi Lab
- CEDEC 2010
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