Thousands of physical pixels turn these walls into a huge display

The scale of this project is daunting. Each of the three white walls seen in the image above is made up of thousands of oblong square blocks. The blocks move independently and turn the room into an undulating 3D display.

If it had only been the demonstration video we might have run this as a “Real or Fake” post, but we’re certain this is real. Each pixel is made of what looks like a foam block mounted on a stepper-motor-driven linear actuator. So basically this must have set the world record for the CNC machine with the most axes. The motors make for very accurate and smooth motion, and the control software lets them draw shapes, words, animated objects, and the like. But the one side effects that we absolutely adore is the sound all of these motors make when running. After the break you can see a demo video and a ‘making of’ clip.

The installation is the work of theĀ Jonpasang art collective and is installed as a Hyundai exhibit at an expo in Korea.

Demo Video:

Making of Video:

[via Design Boom and Creative Applications]

47 thoughts on “Thousands of physical pixels turn these walls into a huge display

  1. Impressive.
    Sounds a bit like a wind harp.
    And it’s not only the walls. There seems to be some kind of motion sensing as well. Look how the light follows the person walking through the room in the middle of the video.

  2. Make this strong enough and in the floor too. Instant table and chairs when you need them. Need a desk? One grows out of the floor. Need shelves? They grow out of the wall.

    Cool. Lets see, how much are those stepper motors, acme screws and nuts? Come on lottery win!

    1. Air compressor, lots of hoses, foam blocks mounted on springs to retract in, and computer controlled air valves to push the pixel blocks out. Cheaper than all those stepper motors.

      1. Love the post and like the idea of doing a cheaper+smaller version but:
        Where do you get your cheap computer controlled air valves from that cost less than stepper motors? Can’t find any myself.

    2. Imagine a morphing rock climbing wall… you have to not only see the best path available, maybe even apparent patterns in the appearance/disappearance, but move quickly before it changes and your path is gone.

      To make it REALLY challenging.. no safety harness :-X

    3. I love that this is a car show… because frankly Hyundai cars are boring as hell so we need to do SOMETHING to get people interested :)

    1. I don’t think the effect would have been as cool. Part of the effect is the amount of shadow, with distance out being able to graduate that effect.

      If the blocks were lit it would look like a normal LED pixel wall.

  3. Very cool in the same way a water printer is cool… I love the sound too, it strikes an interesting chord when they all run and reverbs nicely in the room. I wonder if they considered the sound in the planning or if that was one of those things that “just goes surprisingly right” on some builds.

    Like [raged], I too would have liked to have seen a single LED in each block or something like that. But then I don’t have any builds near about as cool so whadoIknow.

  4. How about combining it with a projector?
    Though it would be difficult to adjust as the light beams would have to be orthogonal to the pixel-blocks to avoid distortion.

    1. Found this. Probably not what you were thinking but they do have a projector on it and it could be setup to take advantage of the depth a lot more.

  5. Would actually be able to address a real problem in common-use concert halls. The ideal acoustics for a space are different for a violin quartet, an orchestra, and a live musical. This would be an awesome technology to allow on-the-fly changes!

  6. I totally expected a face to pop out of the wall at some point.

    This is very cool, and it makes me wonder if some clever addressing mechanism coupled with a redesign of each pixel’s physical drive mech(pneumatic, hydraulic, etc.) could greatly simplify the design and build while reducing the number of moving parts…

  7. I wouldn’t say the sound is a side effect, it fits perfectly.

    laughed at the “dead” pixels.

    The amount of applications for this (many already mentioned above) are amazing.

  8. I wonder why they didn’t fix the 2 broken ones, you’d think they had slot-in replacements.

    Maybe they didn’t pay for the extra pixel-error insurance :)

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