Lightform, the San-Francisco projection mapping company, today introduced Project LFX, a platform for steerable projected interfaces for the home. LFX has three different devices, each capable of turning any surface into a screen. The company demonstrated three different designs: a ceiling-mounted light fixture and two table-top lamps. Each device contains a projector for display, cameras for 3D scanning and people tracking, and a combination of mirrors and motors to steer around the space. Users interact with the projections using voice or with a small handheld controller they call a wand.
“With steerable projection, we can summon a computer onto any surface,” the company said in a statement. “This steerable interface can follow us through the room, popping up on the closest surface. We can turn our art into a sound-reactive dance club. We can give every smart home device a large display. Project LFX is the magic of an AR headset, without a pound of magic on your face.”
“Project LFX shows a future where digital experiences are shared, seamless, and a little more magical” said co-founder and CEO Brett Jones. Jones founded the company with CSO Raj Sodhi and CTO Kevin Karsch in 2014. The three co-founders of Lightform have PhDs in computer vision from UIUC. They previously worked on projection mapping at Walt Disney Imagineering and invented IllumiRoom and RoomAlive, two Microsoft Research projects that broke video games out of TVs and turned entire living rooms into immersive, projected AR experiences.
The company hopes that by sharing LFX re-imagines the future of the smart home with steerable, projected interfaces following you around the home, controlled by voice, utilizing computer vision to understand where you are, and locating the most convenient surface nearby turning empty surfaces into large displays.
Lightform has raised $18M from Baidu Ventures, Amazon Alexa Fund, Lux Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, and other investors. The company has sold over 11,000 units to designers creating bespoke projected augmented reality experiences for events, hospitality, retail, and use at home. Along with other location-based XR entertainment providers, Lightform has accelerated the development of a home line business while waiting for the live events business to recover from COVID.
Jones told us it was too early to say when the LFX device will be commercially available, and what the price point would be. The company hopes to create an entry-level device that can retail for $1,000 or less.