pixels             …everywhere.

Tag: MIT

Junkyard Pixels

by on Jul.18, 2011, under fun, technology

Sometimes the world changes from the top down from important technology advances and sometimes it changes from the bottom up from people quietly working in the background experimenting and exploring. Christie MicroTiles is an example of the former. The work of Moritz Waldemeyer and Vega Wang in wearable pixels are examples of the latter. So is Feliz Klassen’s experimentation with ‘malleable matter’.

Often, it’s both things happening at the same time. The “Junkyard Jumbotron” project by Rick Borovoy’s team at  MIT’s Medialab is one example.

This system sends content to an array of displays from a server. The server figures out which display gets which particular piece of the overall image. The individual displays don’t have to be all the same type and they can be arranged more or less arbitrarily. A critical problem is how to easily figure out the arrangement of the displays and Borovoy’s team has come up with a clever way to do that. First, a unique bar code is sent to each display in the array. A camera takes a picture of the entire array and sends it to a server. The servers figures out the overall arrangement from the bar codes in the picture.

Probably not  as accurate as the single pixel accuracy of a MicroTile array but certainly close enough for fun displays like this. Because of how the images are sent, the jumbotron currently isn’t suitable for video. But it seems highly suitable for experimenting and exploring.

You can download the software from their project website. Others have begun to play with it like this group of students and KMP Digitata .

Pixels everywhere.… one little display at a time!

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