May 172012

I was online the other day poking around, buying some parts for my latest project and stumbled across a persistence of vision (POV) toy / project that had a neat twist, the ability to upload and program new messages into the device non contact by pointing it at a web page. This implied new messages could be loaded from anywhere you could hit a web page, from school, the library, or via a smartphone from pretty much anywhere. And the neat part, for my intended audience, was no wires or special software required. How cool is that!!

This differs significantly from other POV projects / toys that go as far as require you to download a complete compiler and upload tool suite, modify the code running on the POV toy to generate new image patterns, and then upload the code into the toy by reflashing the entire program and data space. WOW, that’s a pretty high bar for a newbie or a youngling.

Since my audience was a 14 yo just getting into electronics and programming finding a project that was easy to build and even easier to use was great news. Out came the wallet and a BlinkyPOV was soon heading my way.

Not to spoil the end of the story but unfortunately we will discover that the promise and reality don’t always align.

In the meantime follow the links below for a laundry list of POV definitions, explanations, and projects.

The toy itself – Wayne & Layne BlinkyPov Blue

The non contact programming page – Wayne & Layne BlinkyPov Programmer

How it works (or doesn’t work) – Wayne & Layne BlinkyPov Design

The source code (gotta love open source projects) – Wayne & Layne BlinkyPov Code

ch00ftech links – good stuff here

A bunch of Hack A Day POV links – the always delightful array of weird and interesting tech happenings