Friendly shadows


The Teleshadow, from

Shadow puppets were an ancient precursor of our motion pictures on a screen, The Chinese word for cinema, ‘Dianying’, translates as ‘Electric Shadows’, and the word ‘shadows’ is common as a metaphor for film.

So there is something rather pleasing and appropriate about the BBC News Online report on the Teleshadow, a Japanese invention which sends video images of your friends to you in shadow form, so you can keep up with what they are doing in a ‘non-intrusive’ way. The idea is based both on the paper walls that once characterised Japanese interiors, and the lamp with rotating shadows which can be found in Western stores.

There is a projector at the base of the lamp which takes in a feed from a projector, which is trained on the person with whom you wish to stay in visual contact. It is also stressed that the Teleshadow preserves privacy by keeping details of whatever the subject may be doing on the indistinct side.

Hard to say if might catch on, but it is a charming creation, and a step back from the world of social networking through video to the graceful creations of a pre-cinema age.