[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP1uOXIJUm4?rel=0&w=600&h=480]

Using a laser diode, steering mirrors, and a non-imaging photodetector, Stéphane Perrin, Alvaro Cassinelli, and Masatoshi Ishikaw from the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Hashimoto Laboratory have built a low-power and potentially low-cost interactive laser display called Sticky Light that projects a ball of light that interacts with the viewer in realtime. Potential uses include video games, augmented reality, cheap heads-up displays, and various forms of interactive advertising. [via Reddit]

The hardware is very unique: since there is no camera nor projector (with pixellated sensors or light sources), tracking as well as motion can be extremely smooth and fluid. (The laser power is less than half a milliwatt – half the power of a not very powerful laser pointer – and does not supposes any hazard). When alone, the laser dot perform enlarging spirals until it finds some objet of interest with which to play (fingers, hands, drawings, etc). A dialog then establishes naturally between the user and the spot of light – whose wanderings seems always playful and purposeful.