Networked pixels: Strategies for building visual and auditory images with distributed independent devices

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Authors: Ferguson, S., Rowe, A., Bown, O., Birtles, L. and Bennewith, C.

Journal: C and C 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition

Pages: 299-308

ISBN: 9781450344036

DOI: 10.1145/3059454.3059480

© 2017 ACM. This paper describes the development of the hardware and software for Bloom, a light installation installed at Kew Gardens, London in December of 2016. The system is made up of a set of nearly 1000 distributed pixel devices each with LEDs, GPS sensor, and sound hardware, networked together with WiFi to form a display system. Media design for this system required consideration of the distributed nature of the devices. We outline the software and hardware designed for this system, and describe two approaches to the software and media design, one whereby we employ the distributed devices themselves for computation purposes (the approach we ultimately selected), and another whereby the devices are controlled from a central server that is performing most of the computation necessary. We then review these approaches and outline possibilities for future research.

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