blnk: Solar Ping Pong Ball Dot Matrix Display

23.05.2011 by Michael

The right perspective is necessary to read the message. Blink, don’t blink.

My latest experiment with dot matrix light installations. It’s much simpler than Shadow Meadow and Fireflies. I am working with only two layers of dots instead of a random number of layers. Thus i don’t need to calculate reverse 3D projection.

The pixels of the 5×3 dot matrix type are arranged in two layers on a grid. Thus they are only readable from a position in front of them. Viewed from other position looks like random arranged light dots of a led chain.

Thanks to the solar led chain blnk can be placed anywhere. It charges by day and glows by night.

Solar LED chain (20 €)
Metal grid (5 €)
Ping pong balls (12 €)


Thanks to:
Instructable Ping Pong Ball Lights
Wikipedia 3D Projection

Shadow Meadow Variations

23.05.2011 by Michael

These are 3D simulations and 3D prints of my “Shadow Meadow” concept. Dot matrix type generated by apparently random arranged light dots and obstacles casting shadows.

Fireflies (IKEA Allsang solar lights)
WebGL / X3DOM simulation (requires latest Chrome or Firefox 4)


Shadow Meadow
WebGL / X3DOM simulation (requires latest Chrome or Firefox 4)


Shadow Meadow 3D printed by Shapeways (OK)

Hirai vs. Takahashi

20.05.2011 by Michael

Looks like Sony Playstation CEO Kazuo Hirai’s press team had a look at Johnny Mnemonic..



Images by Sony & TriStar Pictures

Kinect Experiment: Freezing Han Solo

29.04.2011 by Michael

Princess Leia’s hologram message has already been recreated with Kinect. So Jens and i chose Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

This is an experiment with Kinect and Processing. People in front of it are posing like Han Solo and get frozen in 3D. We are already exporting the 3D models for 3D printing. So stay tuned. The software will be open source soon if anyone is interested.

Thanks to Sabine, Patrick, Manuel and Ianto for posing. Daniel Shiffman for the openkinect library. And NIN’s creative commons album “The Slip”.

Make Blog
The Creators Project

Download the application (OS X) and source code (Processing):
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Flickr Album of the 3D Prints:




Restart Capture (Kinect):

Restrict depth of Kinect:
q: minDepth += 10
a: minDepth -= 10
w: maxDepth += 10
s: maxDepth -= 10

Cut left and right:
f: cut_l -= 5
g: cut_l += 5
v: cut_r -= 5
b: cut_r += 5

Move camera in z:
+: move_z += 10
-: move_z -= 10

Move model in z:
e: model_z += 10
d: model_z -= 10

LilyPad POV: My dog has a display

06.03.2011 by Michael

There are the first experiments with Arduino LilyPad, Persistence of Vision (POV) and my dog. When its running the flickering LEDs are writing words in the dark.

I used my old POV example for Arduino.

Next is the Bluetooth connection to my Android Nexus S to change the words.


31.01.2011 by Michael

A thought about technology dependency:

The victim sits on the cobblestones clutching his aching temples. What happened? he wonders. The universe is a brightly colored blur of fast-moving shapes augmented by deafening noises. His ear-mounted cameras are rebooting repeatedly: They panic every eight hundred milliseconds, whenever they realize that they’re alone on his personal area network without the comforting support of a hub to tell them where to send his incoming sensory feed. Two of his mobile phones are bickering moronically, disputing ownership of his grid bandwidth, and his memory … is missing.

A tall blond clutching an electric chainsaw sheathed in pink bubble wrap leans over him curiously: “you all right?” she asks.

“I –” He shakes his head, which hurts. “Who am I?”

Accelerando by Charles Stross

Zero History

28.11.2010 by Michael

“If I were better at this sort of thing,” said Hollis, “I’d start by telling you about my book. It’s about locative art.”
“I don’t know the term,” Meredith said.
“It’s what they’re calling augmented reality now,” said Hollis, “but art. It’s been around since before the iPhone started to become the default platform.”
Zero History, William Gibson

Wikileaks Diary Dig Mashup Resources

25.10.2010 by Michael

Wikileaks just released a huge database of classified front reports from the Iraq War. I was first disappointed that they did not release a database dump like with the Afghan War Logs where they provided CSV and SQL files.

Diary Dig JSON API

But the Diary Dig JSON API is much more powerful for web mashups. There is no full API documentation. But it works as simple as adding “json” to the URL of a Wikileaks Iraq War Logs Explorer query. All the parameters for your search are located in the navigation on the left side.


This is the jQuery documentation for loading the data:

Google Fusion Tables

The Guardian provides a set of data about deaths during the war via Google Fusion Tables:
Google Fusion Tables provides a simple interface for uploading large data sets from spreadsheets or CSV files and to visualize them on maps, timelines and charts.
More data from the Guardian:

Long loading time …

More examples about visualizations are provided by QWNI who created the War Logs collaborative interface:

Flickr Dump in X3DOM

19.10.2010 by Michael

Another short X3DOM mashup: Flickr Dump. A small physics scene that piles up images uploaded to Flickr in real time.

(Hint: If you are using Firefox 4 Beta on a Macbook then tilt it.)

3D Prints arrived

29.07.2010 by Michael

My first 3D prints arrived from Shapeways. I printed a prototype for my project “Shadow Cabinet” and some InstantReality gears. A great new technology is waiting.