20 Android Tablets form an Interactive Photo Collage

20tabletFrame

You might not have a small army of unused tablets lying around, but if you did, you should try turning them into what Minn calls a “Giant Interactive Photo Array Display:” A Giant IPAD. Har har.

[Minn’s] first step was to hit eBay, hoping to find a score of low-priced, broken-yet-easily-repairable tablets. The only ones available (and for cheap), however, were resistive touch screens with narrow viewing angles. After waiting patiently for nearly half a year, [Minn] hit the capacitive touch jackpot: snagging a pile of 10″ and 7″ Android tablets. The frame is custom made to provide a solid surface for mounting and enough depth for the tablets to fit correctly. Rather than form his own brackets to hold each device, [Minn] re-purposed some IKEA cupboard handles, screwing them into the MDF backboard and clamping the tablets to them with bolts that press against the case. An adhesive rubber bumper stuck to the top of the bolts prevents any damage.

Providing power to the diverse collection required another custom solution; two 5V 10A supplies and one 9V 16A supply fit into an accompany box safely deliver the needed juice. [Minn] chose an app that will grab photos from cloud storage so he can update the collection without having to dig around inside the frame. See the result in a video below! Want to try this project but only have one tablet to spare? The in-wall tablet mount might help.

19 thoughts on “20 Android Tablets form an Interactive Photo Collage

  1. Impressive work, well done!

    I once tried to make a Beowulf cluster of AOA110’s in much the same way, the only snag was that most of the boards had other problems.
    Got three workers though if you didn’t mind having glitchy graphics and/or flaky power ports.

    Should really try again now dual core netbooks are getting common, the chips in these are easily overclocked and each node could have 16GB of storage for less than £10.

      1. flea markets maybe. not sure about netbooks, but most old laptops have plenty of power to do most things but dead and obsolete/hard to replace batteries, so people throw them away or sell at very low price.

  2. Looks great, I may have to steal that idea someday as I have over 60GB (12 years) of digital photo that almost no one can see.

    If it’s just photo and the interactiveness isn’t required, digital photo frames would be a lot cheaper.

  3. My grandma could use something like this since she has over 1TB of photos from like 8 years of massive photo taking. (!)

    Doesn’t help that I’ve got a few gigs of photos I’ve taken to add to her collection…

  4. Wow, that is a lot of effort and a very well-done project! I noticed on their blog they mention having trouble with screen quality of cheap tablets… I think one way to get better results cheaply would be to use computer LCDs. You could get an image or two or three on each screen, and with different-sized panels you would be able to break up the boundaries between screens. Of course, that adds the problem of needing a computer to drive the screens, but that also has the advantage of centralizing the control system. Hmmmmm!

    1. This is a good idea using computer LCDs but may need to work out how to hide all the power supplies for the LCDs because I think you’d need to use the original one that came with the LCD and they might be odd shapes.

      1. Many LCDs have been modified to get power from a standard ATX power supply. Even though LCDs require more power than small tablets, they do not have batteries which might die sooner than expected, thanks to constant charging, hopefully not rendering tablets useless. That’s why I would have tried to leave battery out and feed power to battery contacts instead of charging port. But anyway, great build!

      1. 200W is considerably more than most desktops draw under normal conditions.

        my [Old! from 2007] Q6600 based PC (gtx260,3x HDD, 2x LCD) is only drawing 69W right now.

  5. I’d be really interested to see how long these tablets will last in this configuration. Tablets seem to be intentionally designed to only last a year or two.

  6. You can compensate for lousy contrast with preprocessing on the images.
    Also re. dual core/HT netbooks Ebay have lots, the last one I bought was all of £18 including p&p and just needed a battery and some TLC.

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