After successfully crowd-funding the development of the original Lightpack, the project from Woodenshark is back and Lightpack 2 is now once again on Kickstarter. Despite having 35 days to go, they’ve already smashed their $198,000 goal, with 1,172 backers providing $254,698 so far. This time around Lightpack has evolved into a HDMI pass-through hub that allows you to connect up to 4 HDMI sources and grabs the outside colours on the way through. This time around, the Lightpack really is for your TV, not your PC.
It seems they’ve learnt a lot from the first project, moving to a much simpler installation process. The LED ribbon comes in a 5 meter roll and allows you to fit it to any TV through the use of smart corners. These smart corners will tell the software the size of the screen and ensure you’re sending the right colours to the right LEDs. This avoids the spaghetti mess of cables users experience behind the screen before and also avoids breaks in the light emitted from the rear of the display.
In an update since the funding target was reached, the team have announced a couple of important inclusions. The first is 4K support, critical to those with 4K displays and 4K capable inputs, as the last thing you’d want is this hub downscaling 4K to HD. The second item is a response to user demand to offer a lightstrip that is longer than 5m, to support extra large TVs. The project will now offer a 10m option.
Supported standards: – HDMI 1.4b, HDMI 2.0 – to be confirmed by July 8 – HDCP 2.2 – CEC pass-through.
While the Lightpack itself is impressive, they’ve also added a secondary, complimentary product and that’s in the form of Pixels. These connected cubes can act as extensions of the colour blast that emits from your TV, or just be set to alert you about different events in your connected life. Personally I love the idea of adding a few of these to the office and setting them to turn specific colours based on events in my life. Leveraging IFTTT, the service could turn a Pixel green when you get a private Facebook or Twitter message, turn another one yellow when you get an email to a specific account, turn another one orange when an alarm or event reminder occurs.
If you like what you see, then check out Lightpack 2 on Kickstarter. The estimated delivery is February 2017.
If you, like me were one of the original backers of Lightpack, this graphic gives you a great comparison of the difference between the two versions.