Multiverse, by Leo Villareal

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American lighting artist Leo Villareal has created a beautiful installation of LEDs and programming called Multiverse, located in the tunnel within the National Gallery of Art – you know, the big tunnel, about 200 feet long, escalators…  very similar to the one lit by my friend Marcus Wuebker in the Detroit Airport.  The lighting in the Detroit (McNamara Tunnel) is pretty amazing.

From the video, so is Leo Villareal’s tunnel installation.  There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 41,000 LEDs in this installation – a beautiful work, and some beautiful programming.  Watch the video below – I hope that it appears as naturally random and fractal-esque to you as it does to me.


Villareal “Multiverse” National Gallery of Art, Washington DC from Walter Patrick Smith on Vimeo.

I also found a video originally at MeFeedia of Leo Villareal talking about sequencing and his thoughts on it.  It’s an interesting video, because now I want to hang out with Leo and buy him a Scotch.  Single malt, of course.

Take a moment to check out Leo Villareal’s website, too.

Thanks, PSFK!

Impress: The Flexible Display

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The above video is of the Impress flexible touch screen device, created by the firm Dis.Play – one of the greatest things about this project is its use of Arduino – the physical computing chip.  From the Dis.Play site on Impress:

Impress is the deliverance of the touch screen from its technical stiffness, coldness and rigidity. It breaks the distance in the relationship of human and technology, because it is not any longer the user which is subjected to technology, but in this case the display itself has to cave in to the human. Impress is a chance of approach of user and technology, above all, from technology.

It is a matter of a flexible display consisting of foam and force sensors which is deformable and feels pleasantly soft. Impress works with the parameters position and time like other touch screens as well, but in addition to that, it reacts, above all, on the intensity of pressure.

The user can merge in and collaborate with technology more than ever. He can squeeze out information and fly through rooms, he can form three-dimensional and put objects in motion by deforming the surface. Four short applications allow an insight into an absolutely new world of deeply sensitive and intuitive interaction possibilities.

An excellent concept – all of the functionality of a touch screen with the added parameter of depth.

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Thanks, WhereIsMyFuture, PSFK and Vimeo!

Propellor Design’s Great Chandelier-esque Fixtures

I discovered a company that does some beautiful work with the idea of suspending items together in a big love-fest of glass and color – the Propellor Design Studio in Canada is, from their own lips, “a multi-disciplinary design studio specializing in the custom design of lighting, furniture, and interiors.”  They also do installations, dabble in designing buildings, and are currently in the pursuit of experimenting with public art.

But check out these fixtures…

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Propellor’s fixtures make me feel like it’s dripping light; I would love to see one of these in a dark room.  I would assume that the pieces make up a gorgeous collection of varying intensity glass that looks similar to an icicle dripping.  I love your work, Propellor Design.

They also have a series of milled wood fixtures (and other works) that are also quite nice.

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Check out Propellor Design’s beautiful website.

LED Fluorescent Replacement Lamp

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A Japanese company called Toshin Electric has released an LED fluorescent replacement tube called the “Bikei,” and it fits an existing 40W fluorescent socket.  The specs on this lamp are interesting; 120 blue LED chips, CRI of about 90, and 40,000 hours projected lamp life. Existing LED fluorescent tube type lamps are running a CRI of about 70, but normal fluorescent lamps are between 84 and 88 (Ra).  What’s this saying?

It’s saying that the existing LED fluorescent tubes ain’t cutting it, right?

Bikei’s luminance is about 370lx at 1 meter under the lamp, according to Toshin Electric.  Toshin also says that their lamp’s luminance is about equal to a 40W straight tube fluorescent lamp.  Toshin is expecting this new source to be used in places that would utilize this type of fluorescent source – parking lots, tunnels, factories (high bay?  I don’t see it) and stores – as a few examples.

The lamp is going to start shipping at the end of this month (February 2009), and is running about $306 dollars.

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Thanks, EcoGeek, GoodCleanTech, and TechOn!

Barco Releases “Transformable” LEDs

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Barco has released a new device – transformable LED modules.  They just released a press release, listed below:

Kuurne, Belgium, 24 February 2009. Barco, a global leader in LED display solutions, takes creativity to the next level with the introduction of its transformable LED. Thanks to this brand new concept designers are no longer limited to traditional LED displays but can instead create any shape they dream of.

Barco takes creative LED to a complete new level with the introduction of transformable LED, a unique freeform LED concept that will amaze spectators all over the world. Barco’s transformable LED family consists of individual, compact, high quality LED pixel modules that can be used as building blocks to sculpt any design possible.

The pixel modules can be combined with a wide variety of specifically designed carriers (mechanical structures) into any shape customers desire. And even more, thanks to 16 bit per color processing, an ultra high refresh rate and Barco’s color calibration, the pixel modules perform similar to high quality LED video displays. Customers can give their audience the ultimate creative display without compromising on the image quality.

“Transformable LED is an exciting new product, unseen in the market,” comments Carl Rijsbrack, VP product management. “The pixel modules are designed to remain a stable basic component. However, the structures can be frequently transformed into new shapes, trends and needs providing the best possible return on investment for our customers. We will keep updating and expanding our carrier portfolio to offer our customers unlimited creativity options, now and in the future.”

Barco demonstrated the transformable LED family to its European and Asian customers for the first time during Barco’s 10th annual Rental Partner Meeting, that took place 17 until 20 February in the Belgian headquarters Over 200 customers attended the launch. US customers will get a chance to learn about Barco’s new products at the North American Rental Partner Meeting event in Copper Mountains, from March 9 until 12.

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Luminus Now Makes White LEDs

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At the beginning of this month it was announced that Luminus, the LED company, is getting together with a Japanese company called Nichia to make parts for a new line of high-powered LED sources. Nichia’s phosphorescent technology is apparently pretty great for making white light, so Luminus is going to make flat styled chips for the partnership.  Luminus is no slouch in technology, fo sho – their manufacturing technology was developed at MIT – and the PhlatLight technology has been doing well in the news.

You might know Luminus as a company that makes  colored chips for PTVs and projectors and such – now they have a large series of white LED chips that are boasting some pretty excellent performance. A few of their products are claiming a 70% lumen maintenance after 60,000 hours with a single chip providing 2,250 lumens.  Not bad, eh?

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Thanks, Ecogeek and CNet!