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What is projection mapping?

Projection Mapping uses everyday video projectors, but instead of projecting on a flat screen (e.g. to display a PowerPoint), light is mapped onto any surface, turning common objects of any 3D shape into interactive displays. More formally, projection mapping is “the display of an image on a non-flat or non-white surface”.

As discussed in our Illustrated History of Projection Mapping, projection mapping has many alternate names including the original academic term “spatial augmented reality” and “video mapping.”

Projection mapping can be used for advertising, live concerts, theater, gaming, computing, decoration and anything else you can think of. Specialized software or just some elbow grease can be used to align the virtual content and the physical objects. For more information see our Software sections.

These are just a couple of random examples from a rapidly growing form of new media. See the blog for hundreds more examples.

Sydney Opera House Facade Projection by URBANSCREEN
Jennifer Lopez on American Idol
Katy Perry at the Super Bowl 2015
Pixel (dance) by Adrien M / Claire B Company
Box by Bot & Dolly
DisplayMapper by Projection Artworks
New Balance Test by Hayoung Jung
Lil Wayne’s TRUKFIT by Go2 Productions
Perch Footwear by Perch Interactive
Toyota Auris Hybrid by Igloo and Superglue
Aristocrazy Fashion Show 2013
Blizzcon 2014 by V Squared Labs
Magical Wedding Cake by Disney
GOLEM x APOLLO by BK / Digital Art Company
Tokyo City Symphony
Future of Energy by Potion Design
Projection Mapping on Keyboard by mashstudio
OmniTouch by Chris Harrison, et al.
Whirlpool Interactive Cooktop at CES 2014
Le Petit Chef by Skullmapping
Living Room Projection by Mr.Beam
LightGuide by Rajinder Sodhi, et al.
IllumiRoom by Brett Jones, et al.
RoomAlive by Brett Jones, et al.
BeamATron by Andy Wilson, et al.
Cuelight by Obscura Digital
Omote by Nobumichi Asai
Polar by Lab 101