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Real-Time Electromagnetic Dot Display by Breakfast NY


Created by NYC collective Breakfast and located in Manhattan’s Herald Square at 885 6th Ave and 32nd Street, the 23×12 foot display is made up of 44,000 electromagnetic spinning dots which each flip from black to white creating a moving image that you can hear.

Through their body movement, pedestrians can ‘erase’ words from the screen – leaving specific clues taken from TNT’s “Perception” for which the screen was designed to promote. Similar to the audible flip-boards that once graced the walls of train-stations, the team at BREAKFAST re-engineered these components from the ground up, enabling them to operate in real-time and 15 times faster than originally designed. Users are not only able to see a unique black-and-white reflection of their movements, but hear what that sounds like as the thousands of analog dots spin rapidly back and forth.

Cinder development by Stephen Schieberl, sound by Joseph Fraioli.

The experience will run 24 hours a day until July 29th.
TNT’s Perception airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), following new episodes of The Closer. For more information see here.

Project Page

See also ‘Signal to Noise’ by LAb[au] – 512 mechanical split-flaps and the noise of data

Breakfast on CAN in the past: Instaprint, Precious and iPad Controlled Blimp

  • ‘A’ is for Awesome! Well done guys. What will happen to the screen in the long term.

  • Max Green

    I wasn’t curious about Perception until I saw this; that’s what I call effective marketing! I haven’t heard much about the show, besides a few passing conversations between some Dish coworkers, so I will just have to tune in and find out. At least I have the Hopper DVR that comes with loads of recording space so, if the advertising turns out to be the best part of the show, I won’t be wasting a significant amount of recording space on it. Perception looks like it may have potential though. I’m always in the mood for a good mystery.