If you've watched TV or a movie, or played a console game, in a dark room, then you'll know that after a short while it can be really fatiguing on your eyes. That's why backlights — like Philips' Ambilight — are so useful. This new Kickstarter gadget could give you a bright, colourful, real-time backlight for any TV, regardless of what console or Blu-ray player or other device you have plugged in.
Lightpack, launched as a Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago, was a product with incredible potential. It used long, thin strips of red-green-blue LED lights and a controller that synced up each individual LED light with a segment of your PC screen, mirroring its colour and luminance Think of it like Philips Hue, stuck to the back of your computer monitor, changing perfectly in time with the video you're watching or the game you're playing.
The second iteration of Lightpack, at least as we understand it so far, fixes the major problem with the original Lightpack — the fact that, operating via USB, you needed to run all your video, including movies and live TV, through a PC. Working effectively as a HDMI receiver, and outputting video from four different HDMI inputs to a single input on your TV, the new Lightpack module then communicates to the same LED light strips as the original.
Those LED ribbons, Lightpack says, will fit any TV size — good, since we're planning to put one on a 65-inch monster. Something called 'SmartCorners' automatically detects the length of that ribbon and matches it up with the correct portion of the video frame. It seems to take the difficult setup out of the equation, which was Lightpack's biggest impediment.
But wait, there's more. We're not banking on this, but it looks like — at the end of the video — there are also some wireless light cubes, which light up and change their colour in time with the display. Imagine hiding these around your living room and filling the entire space with the colours and lights that you're seeing on-screen. Sounds pretty cool to me.
If its latency is low enough to cycle those wireless lights quickly and accurately, even in fast-moving scenes, then the new Lightpack could be a winner. We'll track how it progresses over the course of its Kickstarter campaign, which launches at midnight tonight. [Lightpack / YouTube]