Infinity Mirror Clock: There’s a Time Joke There Somewhere

Infinity Mirror Clock

We don’t think we’ve seen an Infinity Mirror Clock before, but we love this new twist on an old favorite. Different colors distinguish between seconds, minutes and hours, and an additional IR sensor detects when someone is directly in front of the clock and switches the LEDs off, allowing it to be used as a normal mirror. This build is the work of [Dushyant Ahuja], who is no stranger to hacking together clocks out of LEDs. You can tell how much progress he’s made with the mirror clock by taking a glance at his first project, which is an impressive creation held together by jumbles of wire and some glue.

[Dushyant] has stepped up his game for his new clock, attaching an LED strip along the inside of a circular frame to fashion the infinity mirror effect. The lights receive a signal from an attached homemade Arduino board, which is also connected to a real-time clock (RTC) module to keep time and to a Bluetooth module, which allows [Dushyant] to program the clock wirelessly rather than having to drag out some cords if the clock ever needs an adjustment.

Stick around after the jump for a quick demonstration video. The lights are dazzling to watch; [Dushyant] inserted a stainless steel plate at the center of the circle to reflect the outer rim of LEDs. After a quick rainbow effect, it looks like the mirror enters clock mode. See if you can figure out what time it is. For a more step-by-step overview of this project, swing by his Instructables page.

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Freeside’s Infinity Portal

sidebyside

If infinity mirrors aren’t cool enough, the 10-foot-tall infinity portal should blow you away. Strictly speaking, the mirror itself is only 7’x4′, but you’ll still find yourself engulfed in the archway. The portal began as a simple prototype that we covered earlier this summer, which was just a frame of 2×4’s, some acrylic and LED strips. It works by putting lights between a two-way mirror and another mirror, reflecting most light internally and creating the illusion of depth.

The giant archway also began as a small-scale prototype, its shape and engravings carved out by a laser cutter. Once they were satisfied with its design, it was time to scale things up. The full-sized portal needed a a tremendous amount of stability, so the guys at Freeside built the base from wooden palettes. They needed the portal to travel to a few different venues, so the rest of the frame breaks down into components, including a removable wooden frame from which the acrylic hangs. A Teensy 3.0 runs all the WS2812 LED strips, which were chosen because each of their LEDs is individually addressable.

Check out the video below for an extremely detailed build log, which should give you a better idea of how massive and impressive this portal really is!

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RGB Infinity Mirror

infMirrorRGBCircular

If you’ve been waiting for a more detailed guide before you set off to work on your own Infinity Mirror, [Ben]‘s write-up is perhaps the most approachable one you will find. This build uses a set of four potentiometers to control an analog RGB LED strip (these lights are not individually addressable: but that makes coding simpler). [Ben] powers everything from a 12V 5A DC adapter, which is more than enough to run the 12V RGB strip along with the Arduino.

The mirror has two different ‘modes:’ individual channel color control and color-fade. In the first mode, three pots drive the RGB channels respectively. The color-fade mode has a mind of its own, sliding between all possible colors; you can spin the fourth potentiometer to control the speed of the transition.

The video below better illustrates the different modes. We definitely recommend [Ben's] excellent guide as an ideal first project for anyone who has yet to take the plunge beyond simple microcontroller exercises. Check out Freeside Atlanta’s Infinity Mirror prototype for more inspiration.

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Building a blinky infinity mirror

building-an-infinity-mirror

This infinity mirror prototype is small enough to test out the theory before committing to the full project. And the full project that [Kevin] and [Edward] have in mind is a huge infinity portal that they will showcase at this year’s Alchemy festival.

It’s called an infinity mirror because it has the illusion of being much deeper than the physical enclosure. The trick is accomplished by placing two mirrors parallel to each other with a light source in between. One of the mirrors is two-way, letting a portion of the light pass through to the viewer rather than reflecting it.

The video demo of the prototype shows that it’s just a 2×4 wooden frame which holds both mirrors. In between is an LED string. The nice thing about the prototype is that adding a bit of tempered glass on top will make it an infinity bar top for the Hackerspace.

Another mirror trick you might incorporate in your own projects is adding an LED display behind the glass.

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Stare deep into this well-lit interactive infinity mirror

infinity-mirror

[acorv] recently sent us a link to a cool, interactive infinity mirror (Translation) he built. He was originally a bit gun-shy about sending the project our way, but our recent Reddit AMA inspired [acorv] to submit it via our tip line, and we’re glad he did.

Having been lucky enough to score $100 of gear from Sparkfun’s 2012 Free Day, he picked up a pair of addressable LED strips and a Teensy++. He built an LED ring from reflective foil, sandwiching the strips between a mirror and a piece of mirror glass. The resulting infinity mirror looked nice enough, but [acorv] wanted to make the static display a bit more interesting.

He added an IR receiver and ultrasonic rangefinder to the mirror’s frame, allowing him to both control the display remotely and detect when people were standing nearby. As you can see in the video below, [acorv] can change the patterns on a whim, and the mirror speeds up the display when someone stops to take a closer look.

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