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February 24, 2017 AT 11:00 am

Enormous Art Installation in Boston Uses a Raspberry Pi to Control a Block of Blinkies #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

via Raspberry Pi Pod

In Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, twenty-four sentinels have appeared in a 2001-kind of way. They are called Light Blades and overlook the parks of the Wharf District. The lights inside the blades react to text messages sent to a specific number and it’s apparently quite a sight – a space the size of a city block changing colour to your request. This is a public art installation called Color Commons and it is the brainchild of New American Public Art (NAPA), a collection of six artists.

The system works by using an SMS server which communicates to a Raspberry Pi at the park. The Pi matches the name of the colour to a list of 950 known colours and then sends commands to the Light Blades. The reaction time of the system is roughly two seconds, which is impressive considering the round-trip the messages make.

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