ROLE: Designer/Prototyper
DATE: Aug 2018
TOOLS: Android Studio, Processing
LINKS: Build (
lantern water pattern
What Is It?

Using a Rasberry Pi and a Laser Projector, this project explores the relationship between the digital world and physical spaces. For example, as you're listening to music, Lantern can display the title and artist for the current song. Another good example of augmented reality is projecting Google calendar data onto an analog wall clock.

How It Works

Inside the lamp is an accelerometer which tracks whether the lamp head is pointing up, down, or sideways (i.e. 90 degrees from the floor). Tilting the lamp in one of these directions changes the channel. Using the companion app on my phone, I can load 3-4 channels at a time.

Making It My Own: Voice UI

Given that Lantern makes use of shared spaces and is a social device, I want to make changing channels easier for everyone. I would also like to eliminate the need to handle the prototype or physically walk over to it each time a user wants to see something new. (This UX reminds me of changing television channels before the remote control!) We're trending away from remote controls because they grew to be too complex and represent an imbalance of power. In contrast, voice is the most natural (and democratic) interaction model. I think it's the best solution for this device.

Smarter Doorbell UX

I'm also looking forward to enhancing the smart doorbell concept. This scenario requires an IP camera or second Pi, to take a photo of visitors who ring my doorbell. The system will save the image to the cloud (or a local server) so that Lantern can project it on the wall in my living room. At the same time, with computer vision & image recognition my Assistant will announce the visitors name. A quick glance at their photo helps me confirm their identity. Then I can decide if I need to go to the door, or have my Assistant open the door and greet them.

Ambient Data

Currently, I'm brushing up on Processing so that I can use Lantern to visualize data in real-time. In particular, I'm thinking about practical applications in the travel space. Overlaying time, weather, road traffic, and flight congestion could help me know when to leave for the airport for example. As travel delays arise, it would be handy to have the latest data projected on the wall, leaving my phone available for further actions I may want to take against the data (calling a cab or rebooking a hotel for example).

Alternatively, when thinking about leisure travel, Lantern could display current photos of my destination (think beach cam) along with reminders ("don't forget the sunscreen, it'll be warm and sunny this week"). Travel is just one domain where ambient data and shared devices are useful.

Song Title & Artist for Current Track lantern: now playing

Google Calendar Overlay lantern prototype

Printing 3D Enclosure lantern prototype

Work In Progress lantern prototype