PoiPlay – LED Poi

PoiPlay is an elegant mix of new technology and traditional medium. Poi, Maori for ball, is a traditional form of juggling originating in New Zealand. In poi, a ball at the end of a rope or chain is swung in circular motion to develop visual patterns. Often augmented by flame, and more recently LEDs and glow sticks.

The PoiPlay device has 28 RGB LEDs in a 1 foot long enclosure at the end of a rope. They have a 1mbit per second bidirectional wireless interface, three Atmel processors, a lithium ion battery, and a charger. The base station controls not only the PoiPlay but the music as well. All the control software that resides on the PC was written in Perl and communicates via USB port under Cygwin.

They have built the devices to be individually addressable with the capability of being grouped by subnet. This feature isn’t supported by the software yet, but they say it should be done by the next show in 2009.

The site, while pretty offers very little information. Some construction shots would be fantastic. Go check it out though, the pictures are mesmerizing.

[thanks Jm]

8 thoughts on “PoiPlay – LED Poi

  1. It’s incredible that poi is so big outside of New Zealand. Here, it’s just something that the kapa haka group does at school assembly every once in a while. I went to Japan last August and was mind-blown to find this guy in Tokyo doing poi on the street.

  2. I do performances at festivals using poi and juggling but mainly with fire, we have been getting more gigs at nightclubs though and having gone through 5 sets of l.e.d. poi I’m still looking for a favoured solution…
    Looks like I may have just found it!
    sweet had thanks

  3. er hardly advertising as neither poiplay or hyperlights are actually selling any product, at least not yet.

    some of the patterns those things come out with are really sweet, definatly be good to see a few pictures of the actual poi in the light of day tho as its hard to see if they’d be good to spin with. also from the video they really don’t look that bright, they’d definatly benifit from some more powerful LEDs

  4. This reminds me of the data patterns off my RS-232 tester. The test tool was just a bicolored LED (changes color when you switch the polarity) and a resistor in series. It was good for figuring out the serial pinout on some oddball devices I had. It was pretty neat when I hooked it up to a long wire and spun it around my head…you could make out the binary on the lower baudrates.

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