pixels             …everywhere.

Tag: picoprojector

Digital Light…. towards a definition

by on Jun.29, 2011, under musings

It’s difficult to define digital light. It’s sort of  “I know it when I see it”.  But I think we need a starting point —  to get the discussion going at least.

Ordinary lighting illuminates small surfaces and large surfaces. Digital light does, too. But digital light illuminates the environment in a more controlled way. It uses points of light — pixels– to shape and reshape what we see: its color, intensity, form. Because of this pinpoint control, digital light can create new forms of art, new kinds of information, and, ultimately, new ways to interact with each other.

And the scope of digital light isn’t limited to illuminating surfaces. Sometimes the surfaces themselves emit light as pixels or reflect light as pixels. I don’t mean ordinary monitors or digital signs — I mean surfaces where the pixels are part of the environment itself.

Some examples might help. In an earlier post, I showed how a picoprojector could be a flashlight. In another post, I gave an example of projection mapping. In both examples, digital light illuminates the environment as pixels.

A different example is Onskebronn by Phase7.de — where people walk on a floor that emits light (in this case using LED panels).

So  digital light pixelizes the environment — and that is the core of the definition. Tiny pixels, big pixels, but always pixels. On the walls around us. On our desks. Even on our clothing — these surfaces will all become canvases to draw upon. Pixels everywhere.

Comments? What do you think?

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