Ad Hoc Public Display Using Cellphones

Have you ever seen, or maybe participated, in an event where colored cards are held up by people in a stadium?  Each card deck is assigned to a given seat location.  Upon a given signal, a given card to held up for the rest of the folks in a stadium to see.  Each person is acting as a pixel and the cards are the pixel values.  I personally love the effect.

I suggests to me that maybe we can do the same at many outdoor venues, anywhere hundred or thousands of people have gathered, using our cellphones.  Each cellphone has a display that can light up in a wide range of colors.  We just need an app to turn on the cellphones to the right color.  The trick would be to know where a person was standing… but that’s not hard, given the amazingly accurate and precise location hardware in most smartphones today.

Think of the possibilities, twinkling fireworks, socially conscious, or even political protest messages… or just pretty patterns.  Anything could be shown on the group’s ad hoc display.  Think of the fun that the participants would have being a part of the show, holding up their smartphone as their pixel contribution to the collective image.

So, here’s a challenge to any like minded app developers.  Care to write and promote an app that would enable giant ad hoc smartphone based displays?

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