Inside the Design of the New Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball
Gizmodo has an inside look at the new Times Square NYE ball and it’s super cool!
The bright ball that hovers over Times Square on New Year’s Eve is special this year. Sure, it’s iconic and colorful and mesmerizing as it always is. This year, however, the ball will captivate us all with a brand new crystal coating. And, boy, is it pretty.
The ball that sits atop the building today is the fifth generation, and it’s straight up space-age. Unveiled in 2008, the 12-foot-wide geodesic sphere weighed 11,875 pounds and featured 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs encased in 2,688 individually sculpted Waterford crystals that vary in length from 4 ¾ inches to 5 ¾ inches.
This year, those crystals were completely redesigned and replaced, giving the ball a sleek and somehow more serene appearance. “The Gift of Imagination” is the theme that ties it all together, and it’s not hard to see why.
“The panels are cut on both sides to maximize the refraction or light,” Fred Curtis, master sculptor at Waterford, told Gizmodo. “It gives it a huge amount of color. There are 16 million different colors with the LED lights, and, then, if you multiply that again with the rainbow effect of the crystal, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.