NTT Cyber Solution Laboratories (Japan) are working on “information rain”, taking advertisements to the realm of mock meteorology.
A projector on a tripod shows images of raindrops hitting the ground and making ripples, in hopes that people will enter the “rainy” area and hold out their palms. A camera tracks the entrants’ movements and sends the data to computers. Then the projector shoots out a round-shaped advertisement — which can post words such as “SALE” — right onto their hands.
The “rain” could guide customers to specific stores. The direction of the image can change according to how the person moves, meaning he or she can always get the message in the right angle.
The system could also be used to show motion pictures at amusement parks, letting people in long queues enjoy animations or movies on their palms as they move ahead.
One of the problems yet to be solved is how to make the message last longer than the rain. Researchers are looking for ways to let people bring back the information on their palms if they so choose.