Would you like you friends to be able to see you online, but you’re having a bad hair day and don’t want to switch on the webcam? A new system created by Japanese researchers might bejust what you need. Called Teleshadow, it sends video as a shadow to a special decorative lamp in therecipient’s house, allowing you to keep that alluring air of mystery. Creator Shunpei Yasuda, who’s a post-graduate student in Media Design at Japan’s Keio University, took his inspiration for the device from Japanese history, and the paper walls that divide rooms in a house. Additionally, the lamp that acts as aprojector for the shadow image, is inspired by the Japanese anjon lamp. “As this is a new media that fits our daily life, it was important to make it as a piece of furniture," saidYasuda. A projector in the lamp’s base takes the webcam video feed and uses software to make it into an outline that appears as a shadow on the lampshade. Being square, the shade canproject shadows from four different people at a time. It uses smart cards to identify users that those taking part swap with each other. Slot the appropriate smart card in the base of the lamp andstarts it displaying that person’s shadow, as long as they’re broadcasting. Additionally, the prototypes use a touch screen for the faces of the andon lamp, allowing the user set up avoice call to that person by touching their shadow.
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