Research Project: Shadow Projection Floor Interface

In collaboration with Jordy van Miltenburg.

The Shadow Floor Projection Interface is a novel interactive system that projects digital content on the floor around its user. The source of the projection is a projector placed above the user, directed towards the floor. A camera placed next to the projector in equal orientation tracks the user’s silhoutte. The shadow casted as a result of the user occluding light coming from the projector is then used as input to the application. In order to demonstrate the potential of this system of interaction, a game was developed that prompts the user to deflect incoming spaceships to protect a planet. The user group of the proposed system is university students with an affinity for technology. The research question is: “To what extent can floor shadows be used as an intuitive method of interaction?” To answer this question and verify usability and design qualities of the system, user evaluations are conducted for a low- and high-fidelity prototype. Evaluation of the prototypes is accomplished by observation and survey, measured using the System Usability Scale (SUS). The results of the user evaluations have shown that the high-fidelity prototype scores significantly better in terms of usability as well as design quality. Floor shadows turned out to be a surprisingly intuitive input method and are entitled to further experiments.