Remote controlled glass block LED matrix

hive13_remote_controlled_led_matrix

At Hive13, a Cincinnati-based hackerspace, they like to hack everything – even their bathroom. One of the bathroom’s walls faces the street, and is made up of thick glass privacy blocks. A few years ago, they thought it would be a cool idea to install an LED matrix to the back side of the glass wall to spruce things up a bit. After a couple of iterations, they finally had something they were happy to show off, but they wanted to make it even cooler.

While the the Arduino and ShiftBrite shield running the matrix could be controlled over a serial connection, they wanted to use the ProjectBlinkenlights tools to control things over the network. While that didn’t quite work out as planned, it wasn’t necessarily an exercise in futility. While Blinkenlights controls were out of the question, they were inspired to add OSC compatibility to the Processing sketch, which allows them to work the display with an app available for both Android and iOS devices.

The result is pretty slick, as you can see in the video below. Now all they need to do is get Tetris up and running!

Comments

  1. David Dean says:

    Oh man, I’d be sitting out there for hours playing with that thing. Next up, tricolors?

  2. Dataflashsabot says:

    Thought it was Tetris at first glance.

  3. bty says:

    Either the bathroom has a door leading to the street, or the 2nd story floor is ridiculously thin. Where the hell did they put the plumbing ?

    source site is down atm.

    nice idea nevertheless, and a very clean implementation.

  4. Paul says:

    The website is indeed being hammered. Apparently we did not have the static page caching turned on in wordpress… The server is still technically ‘up’ it just has a load of around 125 right now.

    The group wiki is hosted on another site so it is still up, however I do not think it has been updated with the latest information yet.

    There is another video on Youtube from when we first got the display working: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzMqo8Cu8HE

    And there are a few more pictures available on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvince/sets/72157625355929294/with/5369019016/

  5. Hirudinea says:

    Two suggestions, mini-tetris (of course) or a “receptical deposit indicator”, display number 1 or 2! (Use a light sensor in the bowl.)

  6. Dosbomber says:

    I was going to suggest a “Number 1 or Number 2? Now you can announce it to the world!” function…. I see that someone else has already suggested it and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one demented enough to think of such a thing…

  7. Rob says:

    A business around the corner from me has a larger version of this at the front of their store. Every time I drive past it’s different to the day before. Sometimes a horizontal bar graph or just geometric patterns. Each block seems to allow any colour. No idea what’s driving it.

  8. overflo says:

    this is very nice indeed!
    i installed pretty much the same thing 3 years ago in viennas metalab brickwall.

    i also used an arduino, shiftbrites and a fonera with a minimal webserver, some javascript and a little c programm to convert the data from the webserver into something that i can feed to the arduino.

    by now we also got network streaming support in realtime.

    if you are interested in any more details on the thing you can contact me here: https://metalab.at/wiki/Benutzer:Overflo

    doku:

    http://blinkenwall.com

    https://metalab.at/wiki/Blinkenwall

  9. ftorama says:

    I’ll have to break my glass wall in a few months.

    I wonder if I won’t sink wires in joints and make a hole at bottom of the bricks

  10. heatgap says:

    Hive 13! Awesome! I’m going for a visit to H13 on Nov. 4th to support a friend giving a speech.

    Kick ass! I’ll have to inquire about this when I get there.

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