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PiWall and Infinnovation Ltd
"2015 Summer of PiWall" was our last main update on this site, and at the time we were planning a hardware based kickstarter, and got involved with a very cool PiWall deployment by a team of creative artists and tech people in the U.S. So - what's happened in the meantime ?
- Firstly, we helped deploy a 70 screen CRT based wall at the Eaux Claires Festival 2015. This arts festival in Wisconsin is pretty big, and the creative team from New York helped put together a live PiWall that supported some live onstage shows there.
- Secondly, we did a lot of work on hardware development, and learned a lot from various ongoing KickStarter projects. The main outcome is that we established that our ideas and products though full of potential were not quite feasible to scale out as we had expected.
- Thirdly, as mostly happens, we got caught up in the excitement of our more serious work helping to develop nuclear fusion research, and were busy with other family and general life commitments.
We're still actively working on new ideas, but our focus is now heading more towards the arts market and implementing really cool stuff, rather than trying to compete more head to head with general video walls and digitial signaage applications. To this end, we've recently agreed a joint project that is aiming at our largest PiWall yet - well in excess of 200 screens. This will be in conjunction with a very capable creative/technical team in London.
To some extent, the new focus from a commercial/supported point of view may be in the direction of more bespoke/consulting work, and we're organising this under our Infinnovation Ltd private company. We're still open to other approaches, and we remain hopeful that at some stage we can leverage our work so far to generate (and share) some economic benefits.
2015 Summer of PiWall
"Is the PiWall project still alive ?" Yes it is ! And Kicking. We've been busy behind the scenes and it's time to update everyone on where we are. Although we'd like to think we're pretty good at innovative software and hardware, it's clear that our creative web and communication skills are lagging way behind the times. So - doing something about that is high on the agenda. We're actively helping a couple of really creative projects which we think will help show what can be achieved with our system. Here's what you should start to see over the next 8 weeks or so, leading up, we hope, to a Kickstarter where you can see the hardware we've been designing:
- Better website with regular blog updates about the project. Probably moving to Wordpress or github pages to streamline our publishing.
- Updated series of videos on our YouTube channel to demonstrate how to get a wall up and running, and cool things to do with it.
- Migrate our open source code to GitHub.
- Information about commercial support and our pro-edition software with updated features.
- More information about your projects and better ways to bring the useful discussions on the forums to a wider readership.
- Link up to some social media to get the conversations going more actively.
The PiWall software package makes it possible to build video walls of arbitrary size by combining a collection of screens, adding one Pi per screen to drive the relevant portion of the wall, and a master Pi to rule them all.
We developed this solution in 2013 for our own needs since professional and commercial video walls were too expensive to allow us to buy. In the spirit of sharing, and to give back to the Raspberry Pi community, we
have documented and released a free version of our code from this site, and since we launched, a large number of groups around the world have made their own Video Walls for a remarkable range of projects.
We have also received interest from people that need more sophisticated features and support that need a more professional approach and we are building a company to support this use.
The following videos show what can be achieved with the free software. We'd really like to showcase some of the creativity that other PiWall users have shown, so if you'd like us to link to, or promote your project,please get in touch.
Our capabilities include hardware and electronics design as well as software, and we have designed and built a custom case which neatly holds a set of Pi modules and the network switch required to allow them to work together.
We also have some bespoke wiring so that the power management becomes easier, and cooling to keep the rig running smoothly. We're now trying to develop a cost efficient way to produce these so that other projects can also
benefit from our work. Hardware is not so easy to scale as software, but we're hoping to launch a Kickstarter project later this summer to make this solution available.