Brilliant Reactive Table Using NeoPixel Rings

You’ve likely seen your fair share of tables that light up in interesting and interactive patterns, but Say Guyer decided to put his own…

Jeremy S. Cook
2 years ago

You’ve likely seen your fair share of tables that light up in interesting and interactive patterns, but Say Guyer decided to put his own unique spin on things. Instead of using a series of single or RGB LEDs to show the table’s colors, it uses an array of NeoPixel rings that reveal different effects as you pass a hand over the surface.

The table uses an ESP32 dev board to control a staggering 61 NeoPixel rings, each of which contain 12 individual RGB LEDs. In the middle of each is an IR sensor — a photodiode — that takes in signals from IR emitters positioned at the vertex of a hexagon arranged around each sensor. While these hexagons are directly beside one another and share LED/vertices, 156 IR emitters are still needed to supply the proper infrared light pattern. Four multiplexer boards are employed to pass the proper signals to the microcontroller, and a 4V 20 amp power supply provides juice to the rings.

Results can be seen in the videos below, starting with a pattern that simply changes the light color when a hand passes over, to an arrangement of spinning lights that accelerate when a hand passes over it in the second. The third video shows a brilliant confetti effect, while the final video demonstrates a simulation of a glowing fire.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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