A few months ago, we showed you a pretty awesome light painting project that visually captured invisible Wi-Fi signals around town using a Wi-Fi detecting rod filled with 80 LEDs. With some long exposure photography, the results were pretty amazing. This project was inspired by those crazy Norwegians, but this build lets you do something even more amazing—capture pictures of colourful written text and drawn images, frozen in midair.
This project hails from Gavin Smith, an Aussie hardware hacker from the Sydney area, which calls his device LightScythe. The POV (persistence of vision) scythe is an acrylic tube that contains a 2-meter programmable strip of LEDs, and is controlled by a small receiver and battery pack. A laptop computer with a wireless link sends the image data to the scythe at a specified time, making it possible to visualise the invisible network data into some awesome light paintings.
By taking 10 to 15 second exposures, he can write colourful (and odd) phrases in front of houses…
He can shows his love of pecs at the Sydney Harbour Bridge…
And can visualise Pac-Man chasing after those monster ghosts at the Sydney Opera House…
And you can, too… LightScythe uses open-source software and can be built from electronics parts available online. Visit the LightScythe project page to see where to get everything and more importantly—how to build your own. More of his light painting pictures can be seen on Flickr.
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