Arduino Based ambient lighting improvements

[Simon] improved upon an existing hack by making this Arduino ambient lighting system that has four different color regions. He was inspired by [Roy's] processing-based setup which we saw a few weeks ago. That system used processing to determine the average color of the currently displayed image, then it displayed the color on a single RGB LED strip. [Simon] was thinking a little bit bigger.

He purchased a lighting strip that could be cut into different sections and then set out to develop his own software for multiple color regions. He had little or no experience with Processing so he went one abstraction layer lower and used Java to code his interface. It’s got a lot of nice settings where you can tweak how, when, and why colors are displayed. In the end he has four independently addressable color strip on the left, right, top-left, and top-right of the screen. The best part is that the Java suite he developed can be used on different platforms, having been already tested on Windows and Linux.

Phillips AmbX dissected

Electrosthetics has taken it upon themselves to open up and explore the insides of a Phillips AmbX system. The unit is supposed to help immerse you in your video games by adding ambient lighting, vibration, and wind. They got the starter kit, which is missing some bits. Interestingly they found that the hardware was not hampered in any way. You could plug in fans and such and, in theory, build the larger kit. There are lots of pics of the various pieces for you to look at. They note that the hardware all seems decent, but it’s the software that really causes issue. On their Vista64 dual core machine, the software was eating up an entire core to do ambient lighting.

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