Tired of Looking at the Yard? Turn Two HDTVs into a Magic Window on the World

Need a room with a view? Winscape let's you choose what goes by outside your windows.

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Tired of waking up in the morning only to find yourself in the same lame place you woke up in yesterday (and the day before that)? Winscape is a DIY project for you: install two HD plasmas in faux window frames that display whatever scene you’d rather see out your window. Using a Wiimote, the setup even detects your position in the room and shifts the perspective screens’ high-resolution video to create the illusion of looking out a real window.

The kit, which will run $2,500-$3,000 from Rational Craft, aims to transport you to wherever you want to be, be it San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park or the view from the Space Shuttle. You can even collect your own footage of your favorite places and cycle through them throughout the day. An IR-emitting necklace keeps track of your position in the room, shifting the vista on the screen to simulate the real sensation of looking out the window.

On its face, it’s a pretty cool idea – why limit the view from your window to the Laundromat across the street when you could simulate the experience of noshing on the banks of the Seine or waking up in your favorite mountain getaway?

But the technology isn’t exactly what we’d like to see; for one, the necklace is large, cumbersome and – how shall we say – less than fashionable (maybe an eye tracking camera would be more practical?). And if you want to record your own footage for a custom view, you’ll need to invest another good chunk of change in video gear: To give the system enough pixels to pan around for the perspective illusion, Winscape recommends shooting with a high-resolution RED One camera or a Cannon 5D Mark II, neither of which is cheap by any estimation.

Still, it’s probably the closest you’re going to get to having breakfast on the International Space Station.