LED Panel Brings Back 8-bit Pixel Arcade Images to the Living Room Wall

For those that miss the old fashioned 2D pixel graphics seen in old video arcade machines, a collaborated project Pixel LED art project allows collectors to keep their favorite video game characters, such as Pacman animated and alive on wall hangings. The display is interactive and can be programmed with smartphones.

The project for the first version Pixel LED was kickstarted in March 2013 as a collaboration project between Al Linke (an IT Director for a Fortune 500 company), Ytai Ben-Tsvi (software engineer), Manju Chintamani, Roberto Marquez, and Chinese hardware company SeeedStudio. The recent second version kickstarter project which ends in March 12, 2014 has raised US$ 18,718 out of its US$ 10,000 target.

Pixel LED art
Pixel LED panel. Please click image for video. (LEDinside/PIXEL)

PIXEL includes a framed two-way acrylic mirror that houses a programmable 32-by-32 LED matrix array equivalent to 1,024 RGB LED lights. The 8-bit style pixel art is reproduced on the LED medium. 

The major component for PIXEL is an open-source microcontroller board called the IOIO (pronounced “yo-yo”). The board is designed to workwith Android devices via USB or Bluetooth and an be controlled by Android applications that use its API. Users can produce any still, animated, or interactive images using Android phone, tablet or PC with any of the 10 compatible Android apps. (Video below showscases pixel art work from Carl Douglas of Agryle U.S. on the LED display.)

Google Play Store (or PIXEL’s PC Windows software), you can produce any still, animated, or interactive image you dream up. Since PIXEL relies on your phone, tablet or computer to be in bluetooth range, animated images will pause if the device running the app is disconnected. Once you send over a still image, it will stay on screen until you restart the PIXEL. To get you started, the available apps provide over 150 still images and a score of animated and interactive images

A proximity sensor built into the PIXEL frame allows users to make images change or ‘interact’ with people as they enter the frame’s range. PIXEL also has three additional ports accessible via the back of the frame, allowing users to connect and program up to three additional sensors for added functionality and interactivity.

PIXEL is powered by a 4 amp 5V power adapter that plugs in on the back of the frame, where there are two hangers on either side for easy wall attachment. The frame is replaceable and can be customized. When PIXEL isn’t displaying an image, the one-way glass pane can function as a mirror.

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