Glowbits 3D Pixel Surface


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Glowbits is a matrix of motorized pixels that physically move as their colors change. The result is an image which real depth and dimensionality. The project began as my thesis project at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU in 2004.

When Glowbits display images, their positions are dictated by the color they present. This can introduce a dimension that is unavailable to current screen technology. Glowbits were born from the idea that a 2D surface can become an interactive 3D surface. They comprise of a matrix of movable LED balls representing pixels. Their movement can be autonomous or directly influenced by user intervention. Each one has a motor that allows them to move in a linear motion. As a general input/output device, they can be configured in various ways – depending on the intended outcome. A few possible configurations are:

  1. 3D sculptable display and input device for use in art installations or museums 3D media display similar to the 2D versions found on Times Square
  2. Control interface for live performance
  3. Tactile display to connect loved ones physically over distance.

Glowbits was presented at the Ubiquitous Computing Conference in 2004

Glowbits has also been used as the technology concept behind the responsive facade of Mizzi Studios Babylon Tower