Hey you guys! Wanna go blind?!

Bizarre Tech: Trippy Paint, Cellfie and Pisces art lamp

Image credit: Alamy

Oh, hello there! I went to some museums this month, all Covid-safe of course, and felt inspired by the artwork. So, I looked up some fantastical art gadgetry for your amusement.

Trippy Paint

Doodle obscenities at night and by the morning, begone!

Sadly, there’s no sign of this on the internet any more. Perhaps the laser pointer was aimed at too many children’s eyes and therefore deemed a hazard?

Because leaving your kid alone with a potentially blinding laser at bedtime is kinda, ya know, not the best parenting.

For example: “Ah, Timmy can write on the walls all he wants at night using Trippy Paint. You can’t tell what he’s writing? Oh. I forgot to say, he can’t see what he’s doing any more as he’s blind from the laser. Oops.”

So, you paint your kid’s walls with Trippy Paint, then when the lights go out, your child can wield the dangerous laser like a lightsaber and doodle whatever they want. The team behind Trippy Paint said: “With our revolutionary formula, we found a way to activate an invisible laser activated glow with every stroke of the laser that will blow your mind.” BLOW. YOUR. MIND. Or your retinas.

Apparently, the psychedelic laser paint doesn’t alter or change the look of paint or wallpaper, so it’s invisible until you go forth and laser doodle.

The paint works via phosphorescence, “the glow in the dark light or afterglow that can be detected by the human eye when our violet laser passes over a surface with Trippy Paint on it. The formula used for the glow effect are made from naturally occurring rare-earth mineral crystals and are non-toxic.” Well, that’s good. At least your child wouldn’t be poisoned. Maybe blinded, though.

The laser used was violet, emitting a wavelength of 405nm. The campaign cautioned the visible UV violet laser should never be pointed at eyes.




Take a snapshot of your insides

The Kickstarter campaign was last updated in 2016, and the website doesn’t exist any more, so I’m assuming nobody wanted to get in on this.

Very punny name, though.

According to the information on the web page, scientists and artists “make the premiere cellular self-photograph for you”.

So, if it had all gone to plan, how could you have purchased a Cellfie?

Well, on Kickstarter, you chose your ‘reward’, and would be mailed a kit containing instructions for saliva sample collection and a form with colour, cell # (is that number?) and signature options.

So you spat, sent it back, and the Cellfie team processed, imaged, and stylised your cells to make it.

The company said the up-close-and-personal snapshot “may be the only naked selfie you can openly display for others to see”. I like how they say “may”. Huehuehue.

Also, it can be like a party piece. You saunter up to someone, beverage in hand, and whisper in their ear “Do you want to see inside me?” Cue curiosity or disgust. Then whap out the photo on your phone, or a pocket-sized version you carry in your wallet, point at the Cellfie and, deadpan, simply state: “That me.”

If everyone gets a Cellfie, then you can all compare your cells. “Ooo, X’s cells are so chubby, she should diet... Y’s are looking super skinny, do they even eat?!”


Pisces: A Kinetic Art Lamp

Wibbly wibbly wobbly. Spinny spinny weebly.

Northern Circuits is a company that specialises in making kinetic art, and this piece of wibbly wobbly spinny spinny is based on the story of Pisces. So two fish (Venus and Cupid) tie each other with a string to swim away from Typhon, the monster. See, already that story feels problematic to me. Like, how tying yourself to one another is going to help either of you, especially if one is a bad swimmer, slowing the other down. Just ditch your friend. Every fish for themselves I say!

Joking, obviously. So, Stephen Co seems to be the dude behind the lamp, and said on the Kickstarter campaign that “I represent this story in my kinetic sculpture that uses a single nylon string bound between two motors, creating beautiful standing waves”. The string keeps on spinning, and is lit by “stroboscopic LED lights”, which is supposed to create colours and shapes that are “mesmerising and therapeutic”.

Stringy spinny costs £187 on Northern Circuits’ website, so you’re paying quite a bit.

Apparently, Co took “advantage of three main scientific principles in this creation: Standing Waves, Persistence-of-Vision, and the Stroboscopic Effect”. Cool, cool. All right. Pipe down with your fancy-pants words, Mr Co.

The LEDs ‘strobe’ (basically they turn on and off, wise guy) to illuminate the spinning string at regular intervals, which gives stringy spinning illusion goodness.

The string rotates 60-90 times per second, and each lamp has been programmed with 11 different colour patterns, including Carnival, Volcanic Lightning and Mossy Forest. Ahem.

It’s 16x16 inches (40x40cm), so not too big, and can go pretty much anywhere to jazz up a room.


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