8-bit Video Wall Made From 160 Gaming Keyboards

Well this is something we haven’t seen before. A video wall An 8-bit style video wall made from 160 RGB illuminated gaming keyboards.

On display at the PAX East gaming expo, the keys on 160 Logitech keyboards make up the “pixels” of a video wall showing a short film inspired from side-scroller video games. It’s the work of the production company iam8bit. Details on the system are scant, but we can learn a little from close observation of the video.

RGB illuminated keyboardsLogitech’s RGB illuminated keyboard allow every key to be set to a custom color. The keyboards making up the wall seem to have the key markings removed or the keys replaced with blanks to enhance visibility.

We’ve seen details behind mosaic-style Raspberry Pi based video walls before, as well as individual RGB LED based video walls, but there is no word on what is used behind the scenes to drive this display or how it was made. To be honest, we should have known this was coming. That keyboard illumination hack that [Sprite_TM] pulled off a couple of years was just too cool and the next logical step is a huge matrix of multiple keyboards.

Were the keyboards themselves hacked in some way beyond removing the key markings to do what we see in the video? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[via Gizmodo]

30 thoughts on “8-bit Video Wall Made From 160 Gaming Keyboards

        1. It used an 8-bit era color palette even if it was the less common “painters wheel” like 8 color palette that included orange.

          Certainly an 8-bit era processor just doesn’t have the transition bandwidth (bit toggle rate) to do this so I would expect it to be a 32 bit or 64 bit processor. A FPGA would have done the task of driving the keyboard from a video signal well.

          Even so you can see that they have limited bandwidth by the fact that they have grouped keys (LEDs) together rather than use them as individual pixels.

          1. Individually IP Addressed Keyboards controlled by a server, Logitech G810 Orion Spectrums.
            Wondering :

            Romer-G keys with Central Led so much space
            vs
            Cherry MX Tiny flangeless Led

            Anyone got a comparison of a Romer-G vs the Mx Switch real world not one of those paid reviews etc where they crap on about how good said product is and this that.

    1. @feena
      Even if you didn’t know what the article meant–which I don’t believe for a second–you offered no thoughts or commentary beyond a single pedantic point. At the absolute best it was kvetching, at worst it was shit-stirring.

  1. When I swung by their booth I saw what appeared to be a spare modded keyboard (seemed to me that they’d modded the original keycaps, not gotten ones with blank semiopaque tops) hooked up to a small 3×3″-ish black box with a label that said “test unit” on what looked like white tape. Didn’t manage to get a photo unfortunately, my phone was full.

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