There's something about a blank wall that can make a room feel empty. Usually, adding a little art to the space is enough to fill the void, but if you happen to be a little be geeky, you can do one better than that. That's what Greg Friedland decided to do: He decorated a wall with a giant, iPad-controlled moving art installation, called the Aurora LED.
The "installation" is a four-foot-by-eight-foot display, with 544 LED lights positioned on a grid. The lights, backed by wood board, are capable of displaying 16 million colors. A microcontroller feeds the commands to the LEDS, and it's controlled by an Open Sound Control program on a computer. Thanks to the software, the display will also respond to music--it'll change colors and patterns depending on the beat of the track being played.
Where does the iPad come in? An app on the tablet, called TouchOSC, lets you interact with the display with the swipe of a finger. You can pick the color palette, resize and sharpen the pattern, control the speed of the display, and generally move and disrupt the flowing images. If you're feeling a bit artistic, you can also do your best finger-painting to show on the display. The app also lets you create custom patterns and activities for the display.
The Aurora LED would certainly be a great addition to any room, and it's quite the conversation piece. In fact, you may run the risk of constantly getting distracted by it rather than getting on with other work or household tasks.
To find out how to make one yourself, visit Greg's blog.