Andy Wilson

Phone as a Pixel: Enabling Ad-hoc, Large-Scale Displays Using Mobile Devices

Julia Schwarz1, David Kilonsky1, Chris Harrison1, Paul Dietz2, Andrew D. Wilson3
1Carnegie Mellon University, 2Microsoft, 3Microsoft Research

We present Phone as a Pixel: a scalable, synchronization-free, platform-independent system for creating large, ad-hoc displays from a collection of smaller devices. In contrast to most tiled-display systems, the only requirement for participation is for devices to have an internet connection and a web browser. Thus, most smartphones, tablets, laptops and similar devices can be used. Phone as a Pixel uses a color-transition encoding scheme to identify and locate displays. This approach has several advantages: devices can be arbitrarily arranged (i.e., not in a grid) and infrastructure consists of a single conventional camera. Further, additional devices can join at any time without re-calibration. These are desirable properties to enable collective displays in contexts like sporting events, concerts and political rallies. In this paper we describe our system, show results from proof-of-concept setups, and quantify the performance of our approach on hundreds of displays.

Julia Schwarz, David Klionsky, Chris Harrison, Paul Dietz, and Andrew Wilson. 2012. Phone as a pixel: enabling ad-hoc, large-scale displays using mobile devices. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2235-2238.