Earlier this year, as part of the Intel Software Innovators Program, Intel IoT asked me to build Octoblu demos for a SXSW event.

As you may or may not know, SXSW’s satellite events and parties are becoming more prominent when compared to the actual festival. So we decided to go all out and resurrect an old art installation that was perfect for a party. The place–called Fractured Future–was rebuilt using Intel Edison and Octoblu!

This is one of the more ambitious projects I’ve undertaken in such a short period of time (just two weeks!)

Happily, I had some help from some awesome colleagues, Connor Coffman, and Shilpika Chowdhury, without whom it would not have been possible to have this project ready. The original Fractured Future was a collaboration with Connor Coffman, April Surrency and Althea Pergakis.

This new version of Fractured Future is a networked art piece that incorporates light, space, and geometry that demonstrates the power of Octoblu and the Intel Edison platform in a fun creative way.

There are six infinity pyramids, basically like an infinity mirror, but as a pyramid with addressable LEDs that can be controlled by an alien-like futuristic interface. I designed the pyramids and the control console from scratch and fabricated the pieces at HeatSync Labs, a hackerspace in Downtown Mesa (AZ).

With the help of Stewart Christie, the Intel IoT Community Manager who made this all possible, Shilpika, and Connor, we assembled everything in time for the event. Each of the pyramids has an Intel Edison, Fadecandy LED driver, and a battery hidden under a false mirror bottom. They are all independently connected through Octoblu and can be controlled and animated by the console shown below. To change which pyramid you’re controlling, you place a different rune (each of which has RFID tags inside) in the center.

The console itself has an Intel Edison inside that is relaying all the sensor data (the motorized faders) and the RFID tag IDs to Octoblu. All of the main logic is built in a single Octoblu flow running in the cloud. I also built a little webpage with sliders that allow you to control the pyramids and the physical motorized faders on the console would shadow what you do. All of this happens real time via Octoblu.

The event was loads of fun and we are very thankful to everyone at Intel who helped make this collaboration happen.

Special thanks to Bob Duffy from Intel! We were really happy to see everyone at the event having fun walking around with these pyramids (they’re wireless after all) and seeing the excitement around technology from all the attendees, volunteers, and other developers!

There were some other really great projects at the Intel DevTech Mixer and you can find out more here!