LightByte channels light and shadow into personalized shapes.

Designed by interdisciplinary researcher and designer Sheng-Ying Pao at MIT Media Lab, LightByte is a large interactive installation that uses sunlight and several individually-controlled shutters to convey shapes and messages.

The installation consists of a wall of wooden servo flaps that act as “sun pixels.” With hidden computing algorithms and kinetic mechanisms, the servo flaps open or close to let sunlight in or blocked out to project the intended visuals on the room’s wall. Lightbyte can project sketches drawn or text messages sent from mobile devices, even if the user is in a completely different city.

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