Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ambilight Prototyping

Inspired by the Kickstarter Lightpack we're playing around with an ambient light function for NotifierLight.
An ambient light (Ambilight) is simply a backlight for your monitor which adopts the current (most dominant) color of the screen.
Backlights like this can show really cool effects, but it´s also good for eye protection (if you like to watch movies in a dark room :) )

Note: The ambilight effect is not part of the current version available for download. It´s only part of a test build at the moment.

Besides NotiferLight is all we need a BlinkStick Pro and the IKEA Dioder. A tutorial for connecting BlinkStick Pro and IKEA Dioder is available at the BlinkStick site.

My experiences about this:
- The Dioder have to be the one with the 4 fix LED strips, NOT that with one flexible strip! In the end it should also work with BlinkStick but the tutorial doesn´t fit to this product. The controller is different. (I combined the 4 strip controller with the flexible strip).
- I'm not sure if this is important, but the controller should be switched to off before starting with the modification.
- The resistors shown in the tutorial should be removed carefully (I recommend a scalpel or cutter knife).
- Don´t forget to attach the series resistors, delivered with BlinkStickPro!

Another function was necessary for NotiferLight. We need a CMY mode to inverse the light signal. Otherwise we will get only some "white" light or inversed colors.

It was a bit tricky to find the best way to take a screen capture and calculate the color (we´ve tried DirectX, too) but in the end we have a good performance.

Here we are with a first test:

video

The effect itself works with any other device (except the 8 color devices).

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