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High-Speed Projectors Power Virtual Air Hockey With Shape-Changing Paddles

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MetamorHockey's "paddle," right, and puck.

Researchers from Tohoku University in Japan have developed a version of air hockey that replaces the pucks and paddles with shape-changing virtual projections.

Credit Gizmodo Australia

Scientists at Japan's Tohoku University have invented a virtual version of air hockey that uses shapeshifting virtual projections of paddles and pucks.

The MetamorHockey system replaces the traditional air hockey table surface with a semi-transparent rear-projection screen, which enables an underside projection to show through while a video camera underneath tracks the movements of each player's paddle.

The paddle has an infrared light-emitting diode to facilitate tracking of its position and orientation.

Both projector and camera operate at 420 frames per second; this data is fed to a computer that calculates the puck's movements and trajectories, then passes the information to a projector that refreshes the virtual objects' positions.

From Gizmodo Australia
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