pixels             …everywhere.

Archive for September, 2011

Seeing differently with pixels everywhere

by on Sep.26, 2011, under art, musings

I worry about what all these pixels will be used for. I mean, pixels everywhere is a lot of pixels if they’re really going to be everywhere, right? I’ve come across two people who are thinking about what pixels can do on a large scale.

Architect Greg Tran (subject of a future post) is exploring new ways of seeing the world as it might be. British artist David Hockney points to new ways to see the world as it is. There was a recent article in Technology Review by Martin Gayford about Hockney’s work in this area.

He writes about an array 18 HD displays (about 35 million pixels, which is a lot of pixels, I’m sure you’ll agree). The content was recorded on 9 cameras. Each half of the display shows the same moving scene but slightly displaced in time.

So what? Well, with this simple idea,  the viewer can see the scene as is it and as it just was. Or, thinking differently, you can effectively see the scene as it is, and at the same time see what it soon will be. That’s definitely is not how we look at the world now.

David Hockney is a renowned artist and the Technology Review article looks at this work in that light. It is indeed potentially beautiful and enlightening. It’s also something potentially important as a new way of visualization. Imagine this beyond a puny 18 screens, but at room scale or larger.

Hockney is looking at ‘everywhere’ differently. How many other exciting new ways will there be to view the world when there really are unlimited pixels available everywhere?

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ArduinoArts’ “Annoying Ikea Lamp” project

by on Sep.20, 2011, under fun, furniture, technology

Last month I blogged about the LuminAR project underway at MIT. Recently on the Hack A Day website I  came across a decidedly low-tech similar project by the folks at Arduino Arts.

Recall that LuminAR combined a pico-projector and camera with control electronics and firmware to achieve a gesture-based digital lamp. Arduino Arts just focused on the controlling a simple desk lamp, but they achieved something that is eerily similar to well-known Pixar animation. Take a look at the YouTube video to see for yourself.

The “annoying” term comes from their website. I think a better word would be “intriguing” because there are so many possibilities.

Now if they could put a pico-projector inside the lamp, and add a camera, well then they would be awfully close to creating something people would recognize as digital light. If LuminAR looked more like this it would be even cooler than it already is.

These guys based their project around the Arduino processor. There are a huge number of people creating projects using the open-source / open-hardware Arduino platform. It’s grown far beyond a cult — it’s a full grown movement. I confess to having a few Arduinos in my lab at home. Google “arduino” and you’ll get many,  many hits.

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