Lighting Television

Pyxis makers want you to pick this for ambient TV backlighting

Ambient TV backlighting technology has been around for several years now, but no consumer product using it has made significant headway in the U.S. yet. Philips came closest with Ambilight, but the company is no longer marketing that (or any other TV products in North American anymore).

Project-Pyxis is a standalone HDMI ambient backlighting device for TVs that illuminates the wall behind a TV with the same colors displayed on the TV screen in real time. The small set-top device interacts with the image being displayed on the screen by using the HDMI signal to sample the edges of the screen to compute LED color values. It works in conjunction with an LED strip that the Pyxis makers say is packed with lighting and all the necessary cabling. It is shipping in May at $200. The Kickstarter goal is to raise $86,000 by Nov. 16.

While Ambilight was marketed as enhancing any video, it was mostly appreciated by gamers. Game accessory maker Mad Catz Interactive has already been fielding such a product as part of a licensing pact with U.K. company amBX, whose technology was originally developed within Philips Research Laboratories. The main selling point of Pyxis is that it doesn’t require any additional devices, such as a PC. Pyxis works straight out of the box in less than five minutes, according to its campaign.



Luminoodle sees the lights, strings them up

After a slow ramp, LEDs have been taking over more and more lighting needs. They’ve shown up in light bulbs, flashlights, lanterns, desk lamps and even the running lights on cars. On addition to their low energy consumption, their small size allows them to be shaped in many granular configurations.

Luminoodle takes advantage of this by stringing together LEDs in a waterproof rope-like enclosure that includes a number of ways to connect to various surfaces, including loops and magnets. In addition, the whole thing can be coiled up in a bag and used as a lantern. The standard product measures five feet long, but also comes in an XL version twice that length.

Connected Objects Cycling

SmartHalo keeps your bike on track and your eyes on the road

There’s no shortage of bike computers and mounts to have your smartphone take on a wide range of tasks while affixed to a bike’s handlebars. But both can be a bit overwhelming, or at least distracting, when trying to glean information at a glance.

Consisting of a ring of LEDs surrounding a central light, SmartHalo takes on a more symbol-driven approach to a range of bike-related tasks. By lighting up the different parts of its circular display’s edge, it can cue the rider to turn left, right or make a u-turn while a center dot turns on for a call notification. As soon as one starts pedaling, its companion app starts tracking a range of metrics, including time, distance, average speed and calories burned.


Taxi Magnet beacon helps those failing at hailing

5defe06c748ae8bf55d11546d98131d6_largeEven though creators Devin Heck and Christa Orsino advertise the Taxi Magnet as a useful aid for hailing cabs without losing your leg, it’s pretty obvious that this compact device exists more to protect those precious Jimmy Choo’s from the grime of New York City streets. In any case, the dual LED-equipped, four-inch device flashes bright blue and yellow lights that can grab a hack’s attention from far, eliminating the game of Frogger that develops when trying wave your hand frantically. With actual input from cabbies in the product’s creation, Taxi Magnet is looking to raise $4,950 for manufacturing. You can flag one down for just $15.


Kangaroo Light folds some extra illumination into tight spots

KANGAROO LIGHTFor people everywhere, bags and purses become black holes of loss and mystery when our things go missing. A little extra light can come in handy sometimes and flashlights have somewhat of a narrow presence. The excessively capitalized KANGAROO LIGHT is a flexible light that is designed to sit in the bottom of your bag to make it easier to find things. It folds into different shapes making it light and portable, much like the RagLite. The KANGAROO makes a nice reading light as well. One of this British product costs backers £40. The light hopes to raise £50,000 in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign.