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segments, it consists of a simple circuit which uses a PIC5 microcontroller to drive a matrix of 10X14 red LEDs. These LEDs can be set to display at full brightness, half, or off. The board exposes a set of programming pins, which are used to connect the board to a PC for the downloading of new frames. The board stores about 300 frames and plays them back at 12 per second, for a total of 25 seconds of video that loops. A second board with a camera can alternatively be attached to the LittleVision, which can be used to record movies directly to the device without the use of a PC. Greenwold, as a member of a team that helped teach an undergraduate class in microcontroller design in the MIT Media Lab, had the opportunity to run several workshops in which participants build their boards the first day and make movies the second day. The resolution capacity of the above device is very limited indeed, and complex scenes are not recognizable. However, according to the developer the participants grew an instant connection with the scenes they were filming.

Fig. 26 A workshop participant and his Hotpants [source: ibid]

“it was a very different experience that it would have been to see themselves on a television screen, or even on the LCD panel of a handheld video camera” [Greenwold,2003 – p.78].

On his evaluation Greenwold believes, and so do I, that the power of the device is its physicality. It is a tangible entity to be handled and manipulated. Because each pixel is visible, it is impossible for one to forget its physicality and focus only on the image surface.

Fig. 27 The Hotpants circuit [source: ibid]

5 PIC, is a family of «Reduced Instruction Set Computing» microcontrollers made by Microchip Technology, derived from the PIC1650 originally developed by General Instrument's Microelectronics Division. It is generally regarded that PIC stands for Peripheral Interface Controller, although General Instruments' original acronym for the PIC1650 was "Programmable Intelligent Computer". [source: Wikipedia]

Physical Computing:

Using Everyday Objects as Communication tools


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