Threshold System

By on October 2, 2005

This is impressive; a rack filled with 22 Mac minis, driving 22 NEC 40-inch screens that make up the Threshold system, an interactive art display at a museum in Perth, Scotland. The mini’s drive the monitors, with their display coordinated by Open Threshold, an open source app, which is the control system that drives the displayed content.

This control system will choose different types of audio-visual content, i.e. original artworks from the Threshold Collection based on the time of day or the type of events happening in the concert hall at the time. In addition, the building will be wired with a system of sensors. Using these, it is possible for visual imagery to morph and change depending on the number of people in the building, the ambient noise level in the foyer or even the colours of the clothes people are wearing. Imagery will also be able to travel from one place in the building to another in real-time.

Open Threshold will soon be available for use elsewhere via Source Forge.

Sounds like a neat system, but what caught my eye was the rack full of mini’s. I was wondering when someone would create a cluster of them, but I would think that there would be a better way to power them than having a power brick for each one. Nobody has come up with a power supply to feed multiple mini’s; Apple’s proprietary connector probably doesn’t help that situation.

Another interesting thing that I bumped into while writing this is a Mac mini Dock that some enterprising individual has devised and is trying to patent. I think we’ll probably see more about this gadget in the not too distant future.