How can texture escape the screen? And how would the introduction of a screen’s physicality effect viewers? The Glowbit system is an attempt to discover the potentials offered by a tactile display interface. The Glowbits change color like the pixels in any display system, BUT they physically move to different locations along a linear track depending on their color!

I have spent years grappling with the lack of texture offered by artwork that uses the screen as its medium. I would dream of the images undulating and shifting both their color and topology too! If each of the light points could move depending on the brightness of the color they were shining, screens would offer a further dimension for experience. Enter the Glowbits.

Glowbits are moveable large-scale pixels of an interactive display. Their movement can be autonomous or dependent on a viewer. Each one has a motor attached that allows them to move themselves through software. They can potentially shift according to the continuous nature of screen-based content, and physical interactions of a viewer.

As a general IO device, they can be configured in various ways - depending on the intended outcome. A few possible configurations are: A 3D sculptable display and input device for use in art installations or museums; a 3D display similar to the 2D versions found on Times Square; a control interface for live performance; a tactile display to connect loved ones physically over distance.

Copyright 2004, Daniel Hirschmann