LED Tie Plays Tetris


[Bill] has been working with a gaggle of 8th graders this summer at a STEM camp, impressing them with his geeky attire such as an 8-bit and PCB ties, and an LED illuminated lab coat. The adolescent tinkerers asked him what he would be wearing on the last day. Not wanting to let the kids down, he whipped up an LED Tetris tie in an evening.

The Tetris board is a 20 x 4 grid of WS2811 based RGB LED strips, controlled by a Digispark dev board. Structurally, the tie is just two bits of card stock with the electronic bits sandwiched in between. and taped to a cheap clip-on. In the video below, the tie doesn’t have any sort of input to control the movement and rotation of blocks. [Bill] plans to update his tie with some rudimentary AI so it can play itself.

All the code is over on [Bill]’s git. It’s still a work in progress, but from the STEM student’s reaction, there’s a lot of potential in this tie.


10 thoughts on “LED Tie Plays Tetris

    1. You’d need a pretty wide tie (“It is not possible to emit a square of all 3 colors in the first 2 and the last 2 columns due to the shapes of the 3 Tetriminos. As a result, the minimal width of a playfield to accommodate a 16 pixel wide sprite is 2 + 16 + 2 = 20 squares.”).

      Also, a beefy processor.

    1. While I agree it would be cool at first, the tie was distracting enough as it was for the kids, adding the song would have made it worse! I also couldn’t risk using the song in the video for fear of the mighty YoutTube infringment hammer.

      1. Yea, In cab see the kiddies getting a little overexcited, but since your going to do another version that you can control maybe add an on off button for the music.

  1. A few years ago, there was a project on HackADay that could detect whether your finger was near a grid of LEDs and where, exactly, on the grid it was. I went hunting for it and created a bookmark, but that was a different computer.

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