Video Coat is alive

Publication Title
Video Coat
Publication/Creation Date
June 5 2011
Media Type
Persuasive Intent
The Video Coat is a 60" LED video display built (hot glue gunned) onto a lab coat. It is a 160x120 pixel color LED display, built on flex boards. This television set displays regular NTSC video. It was originally built by David Forbes for the Burning Man festival, it tooke six months and cost $20,000. Each flex board display strip has six Allegro A6282 chips in tiny QFN packages, tucked in between the clusters of three 0603 chip LEDs. The display strips have four columns, each of which has a separate power bus. So four LEDs are driven by the same LED driver pin. This cuts down the chip count, compared to outdoor signs which require a chip driver output for every LED. Even so, the 1,000 LED driver chips dissipate 50 Watts in total. That's half the power used by the coat. The digitizer board has digital processing circuitry and real knobs for color, brightness etc. A Xilinx FPGA converts the YCrCb signal from the TVP5154 video digitizer into four RGB serial data streams. There is an NTSC video input on an RCA jack, and a USB jack to charge the video iPod that plays the source material. Ethernet cables carry the LVDS serial data to the scan boards. Power is supplied by two 11.1V, 5 Amp-hour R/C LiPo packs. Battery run time is about an hour.
HCI Platform
Discursive Type
Location on Body
Back, Neck, Shoulder, Chest

Date archived
July 8 2014
Last edited
August 9 2018
How to cite this entry
(June 5 2011). "Video Coat is alive". Video Coat. Cathode Corner, David Forbes. Fabric of Digital Life.