Ball Wall

July 9, 2017
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Light-harvesting drawing surface

The Ball Wall is an interactive light surface that allows visitors to map gestures by spinning an array of low-friction balls treated with a luminescent coating and mounted on a wood and metal frame. Designers Paul Bird, Conor Oberlander, and Kevin Remy developed the interface at Rhode Island School of Design as a facade application for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe.

The user manipulates Ball Wall by moving a hand across hundreds of polypropylene spheres. The orbs are internally coated with photoluminescent paint and set in a hexagonal formation. The system allows a user to draw a picture by treating each sphere as a pixel. The Ball Wall is infinitely scalable, and it is automatically reset by the sun every day. The system may also be configured to fit nonplanar surfaces.

Contact: Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

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