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Bay Bridge becomes C-programmed 25,000 pixel display

At nearly 2 miles in length, the Bay Bridge in California has been carrying Americans across from San Francisco to Oakland for 6 months more than the Golden Gate Bridge. Through to 2015 however, it will have seriously better bragging rights than its more famous cousin, with the addition of 25,000 programmable LED lights. KitGuru steps back to admire the view.

Using perverted programming techniques, the mastermind behind the re-vamped Bay Bridge ‘monitor’ has managed to raise more than $6 million to pay for the project and – in addition to the 25,000 Philips LED bulbs – the money includes Apple Mac Mini computers that have been force-fed a diet of Windows 7 to make them better.

Overall, 24 big routers feed a multitude of switches, which in turn give access to the LED bulbs – each of which has its own unique IP address.

So apart from the amazing spectacle of a computerised bridge lighting system which will make for a huge pull for stoned students, what other benefits is the city expecting?

The Mayor has been quoted as saying he expects it to “Bring in up to $97 million from additional tourism during the time it is active”. Not bad.

The idea is cool, so how many other cities will follow suit with this kind of public/private partnership to drive tourism?
The idea is cool, so how many other cities will follow suit with this kind of public/private partnership to drive tourism?

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What about the cost of the electricity itself?

Impressive, according to sources near Philips. Running the bridge will only cost around $11,000 a year – which is around 3x the budget of KitGuru Labs for testing equipment. Amazing value, when you look at it in that context.

Watch it in action over here.

KitGuru says: More power to this project. It draws people in, entertains them, feeds much needed cash into the city itself and – clearly – makes a strong argument for the cost benefits of LED technology going forward.

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