pixels             …everywhere.

Big beautiful blurry pixelized walls…

by on Jul.15, 2011, under architecture, interior design, LED/OLED

My friend Jordan Priede told me about a recent announcement from Philips about LED-illuminated wall coverings which they worked on with Kvadrat Soft Cells. Think of it as LED-illuminated wallpaper targeted at commercial spaces, and it could be a very important step toward the digital light future.

What they’ve done is embed addressable LEDs — I’m guessing pretty low resolution– into a semi-opaque wall covering. Now ordinarily low res LEDs look really awful, especially close up. All you normally would see close up are bright LED points of light that are way too bright–  I certainly wouldn’t want them in a restaurant or lobby.

The clever thing with the Kvadrat/Philips product is that the fabric on the wallpaper blurs the LEDs. Conventional thinking is that blurring is bad, but in this case it makes the image look continuous. Contrast is low and it’s no good as-is for text, but it looks like it might actually work nicely for combining illumination with mood. The video below shows the idea better than the photos do.

If it’s as good as the photos and video in the announcement make it appear, this could actually be useful even in bright environments. This really is a kind of digital light.  I’m sure it won’t be low-cost initially, but low resolution LED displays are dropping in price fast and that bodes well for this sort of application.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Matthew Ward

    James Turrell

    He has a new piece in LA.

  • Matthew Ward

    I followed James Turrell as an artist … Jim Campbell as well.

    A few years back Turrell started to use Versa TILE [a product I designed] to power his diffused works. Most of the new Tall Glass works are done in this way. And there is a new work at the Griffin Gallery in LA using the same technology.

    The system is a low res LED matrix with the pixels created in light guides. So a very short distance is required to diffuse the system. It is all low res video but I think that is pretty irrelevant from an artistic perspective. It is just a question of how to most effectively program the content … and video is pretty efficient where this level of subtlety is required.

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