Projection Door

Automated Doors that Bring Value to Buildings and Spaces

Nabtesco and KMD “Projection Door”

The “Projection Doors” Project is a collaboration project with automatic door manufacturer Nabtesco under the leadership of Professor Masa Inakage, Project Assistant Professor Daisuke Uriu, and Project Assistant Professor Chihiro Sato, which researched on ways of augmenting existing automatic doors from two and a half years ago.

Automatic doors are the first artifact the visitors encounter upon arrivals of buildings, but hardly any of them are noticed. This project was brought on the hypothesis that we can create new values such as bringing fun and happiness to the passerby, and explored the meanings as well as functions of the doors; thus the “Projection Doors” were born.

Projection Doors have a specific screen pasted the transparent glass panels, which images are projected the projectors. This alone is very similar to typical digital signages, but the Projection Doors show content images coordinated as they open and close due to the coordination with the motor unit controller of doors. In addition to this function, it is also possible to show creative contents utilizing the door movements.

With Projection Doors, existing buildings can flexibly change the external appearance and provide passerby a new impres- sion and experience of the building itself. It can also become a new medium of expression for various creators. Project is challenging to seek for the variety of contents the doors can provide, in collaboration with programmers, video animators, and illustrators.

In October 2015, Projection Doors were installed in “RICOH FUTURE HOUSE,” a commercial complex located in Ebina, Kanagawa. The fieldtest aimed to evaluate its safety and soft- ware improvements. Projection Doors were also exhibited in SIGGRAPH ASIA 2015, hosted at the Kobe International Exhibition Hall in November, where we demonstrated to explore the possi- bilities for installation at fixed-term events. As the sun set and the light dimmed, visitors gathered in front of the doors to see and photograph it.

Some future plans are to develop the software environment suitable for commercial use adding new functions requested by creative designers and improvement.

“We want a variety of creators to produce the contents for Projection Doors, for example game creators and programmers who prefer wide programming languages. We believe to go beyond the conventional concept of the automatic door, and seek for possibilities for providing memorable experience or as branding tools of commercial usage”, says Project Assistant Professor Daisuke Uriu.

(This article was written in March 2016.)

  1. Projection Doors installed at RICOH FUTURE HOUSE, a brand new complex established along with Ebina Station redevelopment.

  2. Brilliantly coloring the main entrance of SIGGRAPH ASIA 2015 conference in Kobe.