Your eye can clearly see only a small part of your screen any any given time. The rest of your field of view is some measure of blurry—a smearing of color your brain pulls, along with the sharp central focus, into a coherent image. That makes it relatively simple to extend the perceived breadth of a scene on your TV screen or monitor. Woodenshark aims to capitalize on this with its Lightpack (funding through May 31), an inexpensive back lighting system that extends your visual experience beyond the borders of your box.
A series of ten RGB LEDs radiate outward from a light-striped black box affixed to the back of your screen. These strips splash a pool of light onto the surface behind, its tones relating directly to the images displayed on their respective edges of the screen. The setup bleeds whatever you’re viewing into your peripheral vision in a way that is, as far as the less acute outer regions of your eyes are concerned, nearly as good as an extended sharp display—or at least that’s the pitch. And according to Woodenshark, soft lighting reduces muscular strain related to pupil dilation to boot.
You control the LED strips over a Micro-USB connection with a piece of software called Prismatik. In addition to governing the basic translation of edge imagery to strip output, Prismatik allows you to adjust capture areas, color balance, luminosity, and other specific values, as well as set up custom behaviors. With your own designs or plugins developed by other users, it appears the program can blaze blue when somebody pokes you on Skype or cycle a growing slice of red as your game spells cool, for example examples. Note that program’s role necessitates a Windows, Linux, or OS X computer: A standard television screen is not enough.
With about a week left, Woodenshark has already sailed past its oddly specific $261,962 funding goal. The project was also closing in on its first stretch goal ($400,000) that adds LED module caps. To get your own Lightpack for an expected August delivery, it’ll cost you $80 or $150 for a single device or a two-pack, respectively. The team consists of a multinationally located bunch of inventors, developers, designers, and engineers, each with a respectable amount of experience. The group claims to have already sold more than 1000 devices in Russia, and with funding successful and a seemingly reliable group at the wheel, Lightpack looks like it has wings.