“Emancipated pixels: real-world graphics in the luminous room” by Underkoffler, Ullmer and Ishii

  • ©John Underkoffler, Brygg Ullmer, and Hiroshi Ishii




    Emancipated pixels: real-world graphics in the luminous room



    We describe a conceptual infrastructure – the Luminous Room – for providing graphical display and interaction at each of an interior architectural space’s various surfaces, arguing that pervasive environmental output and input is one natural heir to today’s rather more limited notion of spatially-confined, output-only display (the CRT). We discuss the requirements of such real-world graphics, including computational & networking demands; schemes for spatially omnipresent capture and display; and issues of design and interaction that emerge under these new circumstances. These discussions are both illustrated and motivated by five particular applications that have been built for a real, experimental Luminous Room space, and by details of the current technical approach to its construction (involving a two-way optical transducer called an I/O Bulb that projects and captures pixels).


    1. Agrawala, M., Beers, A., Frohlich, B., et. al. The Two-User Responsive Workbench: Support for Collaboration Through Individual Views of a Shared Space, in Proceedings of SIGGRAPH, 1997, 327-332.
    2. Bolt, R. “Put-That-There”: Voice and Gesture at the Graphics Interface. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH, 1980, 262-270.
    3. Cruz-Neira, C., Sandin, D., and DeFanti, T. Surround-Screen Projection-Based Virtual Reality: The Design and Implementation of the CAVE, Proceedings of SIGGRAPH, 1993, p. 193.
    4. Feiner S, MacIntyre B, Seligmann D. Knowledge-Based Augmented Reality. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 36, No. 7, July 1993
    5. Frisch, E., Hasslacher, B., and Pomeau, Y. Lattice-Gas Automata for the Navier-Stokes Equation. Physical Review Letters, 56, 1505-8
    6. Ishii, H. and Ullmer, B. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms. Proceedings of CHI ’97, March 1997.
    7. Krueger, M. Artificial Reality II. Addison-Wesley, 1991.
    8. Jacobsen, J., Comiskey, B., et al. The Last Book. IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 36, No. 3, International Business Machines Corporation, 1997.
    9. Paradiso, J., and Hsiao, K.-Y. Swept-Frequency, Magnetically-Coupled Resonant Tags for Realtime, Continuous, Multiparameter Control. Proceedings of CHI ’99, Late Breaking Results, May 1999.
    10. Pentland, A. Smart Rooms. Scientific American, v. 274 no. 4, pp. 68-76. April 1996.
    11. Raskar, R., Welch, G., Cutts, M., et al. The Office of the Future: A Unified Approach to Image-Based Modeling and Spatially Immersive Displays. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH, 1998, 179-188.
    12. Smith, J., White, T., Dodge, C., Allport, D., Paradiso, J., and Gershenfeld, N. Electric Field Sensing for Graphical Interfaces. To Appear in Computer Graphics and Animation, Special Issue on Novel Input Devices.
    13. Underkoffler, J. and Ishii, H. Illuminating Light: An Optical Design Tool with a Luminous-Tangible Interface. Proceedings of CHI ’98, April 1998.
    14. Wellner, P. Interacting with Paper on the DigitalDesk. Communications of the ACM. Vol. 36, No. 7: 87-96, July 1993.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: