TV and monitor add-on that projects light at the background of your screen in real-time, creating an awesome light effect. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on April 30, 2013.
About this project
What is Simavision?
Simavision is a PC-based real-time ambient lighting effect that attaches at the back of your home media PC theater or monitor and creates a nifty light effect behind your screen. It's simple to set up, works wirelessly and will definitely pop up your movies, games, shows or even regular work on your computer with an additional dimension.
Long story short, Simavision is cool addon to your TV/monitor which projects light at the background of the screen creating a slick light effect in real-time.
Hey, did we mention gaming? Minecraft looks awesome with Simavision!
- Easy Plug and Play installation
- Detailed design with plastic lenses for perfect light dispersion
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity with your computer
- Energy efficient (>7W - that's not more than your mobile phone charger consumes)
- Cross-platform (Windows, Mac & Linux, XMBC & Dreambox plugin)
How does Simavision work?
Simavision is a combination of hardware and software. Bits of software capture content at the edges of your screen in real-time, converting them to LED color data and sending them to modules which display specific color - the whole process happens so fast that our eye can not recognise it.
Connecting and plugging modules together will be done by simple connectors as shown on pic below:
We LOVE watching movies and we want to make the experience of watching them as enjoyable as possible. HD video and audio are great, 3D is a cool experience, but we wanted more. Therefore, we asked what’s the next step? We are good with LEDs so an idea came in mind: wouldn't it be awesome if whole room could be colored as the content of TV?
Because we have a XBMC-based PC theater connected onto our HDTV, we designed a lighting system that is computer-driven. Initially, it required a lot of connections: HDMI from the computer to the TV, USB from the TV to controller and controller needed a power supply. We replaced the USB connection with a Bluetooth 2.0 and HDMI cable with Airplay (Video wireless stream could be done on any SmartTV too) so the only physical connection left was the power supply for a controller. The software was the delightful part, it carried out pretty well, although we are planning to fully upgrade it if funding is successful.
Simavision consist of a controler, power supply and numerous modules which emit RGB light. Designing the RGB modules was a process we dedicated a lot of time for. The controller box is minimalistically designed with sticky tape at its back for easy attaching onto a back of a TV/monitor. The Modules also have sticky tape on their back. At the front they are designed as 2nd degree curves to disperse light at a perfect angle to the background behind your screen. The connectors at the sides of module makes setting up and connecting an easy job.
The dimensions of the module are H:35 x W:19 x D:17 mm or H:1.37 x W:0.75 x D:0.67 inch.
How can I use Simavision?Be creative! This is how we used it:
- Attached it onto TV at which we are streaming video from our Macbook. This looks especially good when TV is wall-mouted.
- Attached it onto back of our monitor at work - it even made Photoshop more fun.
This is how you can use it:
- Attach it at outdoors commercial screens and create awesome effects at night.
- It does not only syncs with your computer; you can use some of the software build-in effect programs to create various effects behind your TV/monitor, in your living room or aquarium, for modding your PC or at any other place you can think of(check software part below)
Software is native, so it supports all three major operating systems. It has three modes:
- Capture mode: syncs modules with your screen
- Line mode: creates various effects
- Matrix mode: when modules are set-up in square shape, it acts like small RGB screen. Tons of effects to explore!
Some geeky stuff
To the geeks out there; system is actually Atmega328 microcontroller operated, running Arduino bootloader. Since it's actually an Arduino, we created a wireless UART connection with computer using Bluetooth module. There is also FTDI port for cable connection to PC (Simavision can work via cable, too) or even hacking the controller (although it's hackable over Bluetooth also). In every module, there is a 3-channel LED driver and small full RGB LED.
Why we need YOU!
After half a year of development we have fully-working prototypes, ready & developed designs and beta version of software. We see this product as a stunning add-on on every TV, but in order to make it as attractive as possible, it needs to be good-priced - and that’s the part we can’t do without you. We have *huge* start-up costs, like:
- PCB layout & 3D design software
- Software developers who should make pleasant User Interface
- Moulds for plastic parts & stencils for PCBs
All of this is extremely expensive if done in small runs, so we have to go big. Please help us on our way getting there.
What will I get?
$3 - Mention on our wall of fame and access to backer-only updates
$15 - FTDI cable for physical connection or even programming your Arduino
$25 - Handmade high-quality T-shirt
$49 - Hobby Simavision kit for experimenting
$69 - EARLY BIRDS SPECIAL: Small Simavision kit for screens up to 23inch (limited 100pcs)
$79 - Small Simavision kit for screens up to 23inch
$109 - EARLY BIRDS SPECIAL: Big Simavision kit for screens up to 49inch (limited 10pcs)
$129 - Big Simavision kit for screens up to 49inch
$159 - Huge Simavision kit for screens up to 70inch
$1200 - BETA TESTER: Receive your small Simavision kit extremely early - as soon as few weeks after finishing a campaign and send us some feedback about it! (limited 2pcs)
Risks and challenges
As any other project, obstacles may occur which can result in final delay of product. There might be a problem with a machine in China, or airplane delivering our products might broke on half of its way, for example. We hope these won't happen, but it's possible - therefore, final shipment may be a little delayed.
We set our goal realistically to 42,000USD. It's based on MOQ(MinimalOrderQuantity) supplied from manufactures we have been working for a quite now. Time persuaded us in their decent quality and high-level organised supply chains.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! - with only one controller. So, for example, you could take huge kit and put it onto two monitors. Everything will be bulit-in into a software, so no extra hacking will be needed to make it work, just setting few simple parameters only by counting modules.
Absolutely! Put as many as modules you want, count them and put the data into software, everything else is on us!
There are three kit sizes: small, big and huge. For example, small kit is for a screen up to 23 inch - that means you can have your 23 inch screen fully covered with this kit. If you have 17 inch screen, that’s fine, you will have some modules left for a spare. Each kit contains only one controller and power supply.
Whole system is Plug ‘n’ play, so it’s really simple and won’t take you more than 15 minutes.
The assembly Steps are:
1. Attach modules and controller onto the back of your TV/monitor and connect them mutually with provided jumpers
2. Plug in power supply into controller
3. Turn on your computer, download software and follow the wizard
4. Pair your computer with controller
5. Watch the magic!
Installation guide will be provided with a product.
No, it does not. It works only when computer is connected and software is running.
We have that idea in mind, but we would first love to fulfil Simavision first, than think about what could be next.
Yes, you need to, but it's tiny. Software will simple to install and setup - all you will be needed to do is to start the installation wizard and follow the steps - neat!
Yes! We will publish hardware designs and full code(both microcontroller and computer code) as soon as product is finished testing and got certificates.
We thought of you, desktop PC users! It's possible to connect Simavision to your computer via FTDI cable, so there's no need for wireless connection.
*FTDI cable is offered separately
There are two ways of connecting Simavision to your computer: Bluetooth(in that case your computer must have either a Bluetooth built-in or Bluetooth dongle) or FTDI cable(which you can pledge for 15$).
Two; one wired (power supply to controller) and one wireless(controller to your PC via Bluetooth). We were relying on a fact that all laptops and some PC’s have Bluetooth built-in, and if not, USB Bluetooth dongle costs just a few bucks.
Components will be supplied from China, PCB manufacturing & assembly, plastic parts and testing will be done in China, too, or even eventually in Croatia if we find that financially possible. Final assembling (combining plastic and PCBs, packaging them and preparing for shipping) will be done by hand in Croatia.
We want to be not sure, but certain that our product is high quality, so we are testing every aspect of it in detail, and, well, that takes a lot of time and patience. After we confirmed everything, manufacturing starts, which takes a month at least. Next step is to final assemble the product, pack and ship them. And, we are not counting eventual problems that could occur during manufacturing or inspecting manufactured products. Now you understand, don’t you? If you don’t want to wait so much, consider backing as our beta tester.
We are shipping from Croatia via Croatian post. Your Simavision parcel will be registered and will have a tracking number (full trackability depends of country we are shipping to). And yeah, shipping is free.
Absolutely! Since Raspberry Pi is Linux based, it will work with it as with any other Linux computer. And, well, it's a lovely & cheap package for entertainment!
There is! The price you see now for Huge Simavision kit is Early Birds price, we aren't even offering this kit at 'normal' price.
- (29 days)