Casio is a brand that has firmly established itself in the learning environment; from the calculators that we all grew up with to the groundbreaking laser and LED hybrid projectors that are making presentations greener and brighter. These lamp-free units can also be utilised to unleash a range of creative potential from students across all faculties and disciplines, from establishing new virtual reality possibilities for the sciences, to combining immersive media environments with dance, fashion or music for the arts.
Liverpool creative Draw & Code is changing the face of virtual reality (VR) as we currently know it. The team is on a mission to make virtual a social experience by utilising Casio’s Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors and creating a 3D environment where people can interact with each other by holding up their mobile devices then use an augmented reality (AR) app or their hands to interact using motion sensors.
ABOVE: Draw & Code is changing the face of virtual reality as we currently know it
This ambitious idea demands a lot from the projectors so it was essential that the model selected was bright, clear and stable enough to be used as markers for the AR aspect of the experience.
“The projection is integral to this project; we got the projectors in first and then built the stand around them,” explains Andy Cooper, artistic director at Draw & Code. "We had a vision about how we wanted this prototype to work, but we thought it would be a struggle to find cost-effective projectors with the required short throw combined with intense brightness and clarity."
"I don't believe there is another projector on the market that could do such an unusual and demanding job; this kit is far too good to only be used for Powerpoints!"
The fact that there is no lamp and that an image of 80" with just a 27cm throw distance makes Casio’s UST ideal for this type of application, as they guarantee a consistent light source and constant brilliance, which is needed for the fluidal markers to be detectable
The Draw & Code team looked at other options, but in the end it had to be Casio. "I don't believe there is another projector on the market that could do such an unusual and demanding job; this kit is far too good to only be used for Powerpoints!" says Cooper.
Recent graduate from the Royal College of Art Naoya Nakayama received sponsorship from Casio UK in the form of a UST projector for his project which explores the worship of the imperfect. This is a narrative of his design process over the year paralleled against the Japanese aesthetic known as the ‘way of tea’, exploring the remarkable perfection of the ‘chasitsu’ or tea room.
Nakayama related this back to the preparation of his clothing collection by visualising the concepts and his inspiration for each piece through projection mapping onto the fabrics, the model’s skin and the backdrop to create the chasitsu environment.
ABOVE: A Royal College of Art student used a UST project from Casio UK to complete a project
“The projector from Casio, which omits the need for a mercury lamp, was the greenest projector we have ever seen, a concept which is very important to me. The fixed focal lens from Casio ensures a stable and reliable image quality, ideal for the varying throw distances ensuring perfect clarity for each element,” explains Nakayama.
“The biggest challenge for us was to investigate the perfect balance of LED lighting with projection while the models were moving, as this is something that has been never attempted before. We captured this in various ways depending on the fabric being shot, using an abstract draping method of bamboo sticks onto simple rectangle panels to a defined scale, thus altering the angles and brightness.”