Photos: Silicon Junkies' eye-popping entry in the Red Bull Creation contest

Categories: Tech, Things to Do

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Big photos below.
Most people don't happen to have thousands of LED lights lying around a workshop.

And most people don't have two 3-D printers and other tools needed to create an interactive light display controlled by cellphones and containing more than 3,000 bulbs.

But for Boulder's Silicon Junkies, all these pieces add up to just another roll in the technological hay. They would have you believe that anyway.

The Silicon Junkies are group of four members of the Boulder hacker space Solid State Depot, and together, they've created an entry for Red Bull Creation competition, a self-described "innovation competition" that allows entrants to take a piece of Red Bull-designed hardware -- the "TurBULL Encabulator" -- and incorporate it into a fully functional project of, well, anything they can dream up involving LEDs. The Encabulator basically functions as a control board for an LED lighting system.

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The Solid State Depot work space.
The contest is open to 200 groups of contestants, and this year, the Junkies managed to snag one of the Encabulators and put together a project that is equal parts fun, jaw-dropping and creative: the affectionately named "Interactive Encabulatrix."

Although the project is fully collaborative, it was Dan Julio, an entrepreneur who owns an LED lighting company, who was the team member responsible for generating interest in entering the competition. "I do LEDs, and when I saw it was an LED contest...."

"Dan is the man with the LED plan," interjects a laughing Bryant Hadley, fellow Silicon Junkies member and fabrication technician.

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The TurBull Encabultor unit.
It's this kind of easy interaction that best characterizes the Junkies: four guys with different fortés who like to mess around with tools and computers. Take Ben Burdette: A computer programmer during the day, he had been messing around with computer code scripts for lights that could be controlled by a regular smart phone. "I thought, 'I've been working on these little controls anyway, it will just be minimal effort....'

"Famous last words," he adds, sparking more laughter from the other Junkies.

Continue for more about the Silicon Junkies and the "Interactive Encabulatrix," including photos.



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