Pico projectors have lately been investigated as mobile display and interaction devices. We propose to use them as ‘light beams’: Everyday objects sojourning in a beam are turned into dedicated projection surfaces and tangible interaction devices. While this has been explored for large projectors, the affordances of pico projectors are fundamentally different: they have a very small and strictly limited projection ray and can be carried around in a nomadic way during the day. Thus it is unclear how this could be actually leveraged for tangible interaction with physical, real world objects.

This is a joint work between Telecooperation Lab and FX Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL).

Please direct any questions or inquiries to the corresponding author, Jochen Huber.



Photoset on flickr.

Media/Press Coverage

English coverage:

  • Engadget US: LightBeam pico projector turns any surface into a display, any object into a remote
  • The Verge: LightBeam turns everyday objects into displays, controls
  • Slashdot: Pico Projector Adapts To New Surfaces, Uses Random Objects As Input Devices
  • gizmag: LightBeam makes any surface a projector display, and everyday objects a remote control
  • Fellow GEEK: Augment Reality with cool new Lighbeam Pico Projector
  • LightBeam adds intelligent object interaction to pico projectors
  • Ubergizmo: LightBeam pico projector turns any surface into a display
  • LightBeam: a new research project that offers projected interaction with real world objects
  • Tech-Stew: Any surface is a display, objects become remotes with LightBeam pico projector
  • TFTS: LightBeam Pico Projector Turns Surfaces Into Screens, Random Motion Into Remote [LightBeam Pico Projector Uses Motion Controls To Serve As Remote, Offers Even More Unusual Features To Boot]
  • AboutProjectors: Developers Unveil LightBeam Project
  • Videomaker: Control Your Display By Learning the Ways of the LightBeam
  • Stuff UK: Next Big Thing – LightBeam
  • The Jane Dough: The LightBeam Projector Will Soon Be Saving You From Presentation Hell
  • Geeky Gadgets: LightBeam Transforms Any Surface Into An Interactive Display
  • PC & Tech Authority: Future tech: LightBeam

Other languages:

  • Chip PL: Kartka papieru to twój wyświetlacz, a kubek to twoja myszka
  • Gadzeto Mania PL: LightBeam – każda powierzchnia może być ekranem, a każdy przedmiot pilotem
  • TechGear GR: LightBeam, η συσκευή που μετατρέπει καθημερινά αντικείμενα σε οθόνες και τηλεχειριστήρια
  • Gizmologia ES: LightBeam: la tecnología que convierte en interactiva cualquier superficie
  • Engadget ES: LightBeam, un pico proyector multi superficie capaz de transformar cualquier objeto en mando a distancia
  • Engadget DE: LightBeam-Konzept erklärt jede Oberfläche zum Display, jedes Objekt zum Controller
  • TechArena DE: LightBeam macht aus allen Gegenständen ein Display und nutzt sie zur Steuerung
  • Engadget CN: LightBeam 微型投影机可追踪投影表面,还能侦测物体旋转遥控画面
  • 36氪 CN: LightBeam能把任意物体的表面变成可被日常物件控制的屏幕
  • MobileDevice RU: LightBeam превращает все поверхности в дисплеи
  • RU: Превратите любую поверхность в интерактивный дисплей с LightBeam
  • MaxiSciences FR: LightBeam : un Pico projecteur affichant sur des objets du quotidien
  • Tech in Side FR: LightBeam : le pico-projecteur qui s’adapte aux surfaces
  • Gadget Report RO: Incredibilul LightBeam. Interactiunea video, intr-o noua dimensiune
  • IT: LightBeam: pico proiettore che si adatta a qualsiasi superficie grazie a Kinect
  • Engadget JP: なんでもスクリーンにするノマドなプロジェクター LightBeam


  • Jochen Huber (Corresponding Author)
  • Prof. Dr. Max Mühlhäuser


  • Dr. Jürgen Steimle (MIT Media Lab)
  • Dr. Chunyuan Liao (FXPAL)
  • Dr. Qiong Liu (FXPAL)
  • Former students:
  • Faheem Nadeem
  • Fawaz Amjad Malik