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Patterned by Nature: it's big, blocky and earth-approved (video)

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
April 27, 2012
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Quick quiz: which consumes more power, an "energy-efficient" 55-inch LED TV, or the 90-foot "Patterned by Nature" video installation at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences? It's actually a trick question, because the sculpture does eat less power -- just 75 watts -- but then it only has a fraction of the TV's pixels. Each of its 3600 "dots" is in fact a 6-inch glass pane which can vary its transparency, a decidedly more lo-fi approach than similar tech we've seen before, but no less arresting as a result. As the video shows, it combines an eight channel soundtrack with twenty Mario-like animations on its serpentine skin -- ranging from bacteria to flocking geese -- to bring mother nature to the viewer without sapping her energy.

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