Ambient TV backlighting technology has been around for several years now, but no consumer product using it has made significant headway in the U.S. yet. Philips came closest with Ambilight, but the company is no longer marketing that (or any other TV products in North American anymore).
Project-Pyxis is a standalone HDMI ambient backlighting device for TVs that illuminates the wall behind a TV with the same colors displayed on the TV screen in real time. The small set-top device interacts with the image being displayed on the screen by using the HDMI signal to sample the edges of the screen to compute LED color values. It works in conjunction with an LED strip that the Pyxis makers say is packed with lighting and all the necessary cabling. It is shipping in May at $200. The Kickstarter goal is to raise $86,000 by Nov. 16.
While Ambilight was marketed as enhancing any video, it was mostly appreciated by gamers. Game accessory maker Mad Catz Interactive has already been fielding such a product as part of a licensing pact with U.K. company amBX, whose technology was originally developed within Philips Research Laboratories. The main selling point of Pyxis is that it doesn’t require any additional devices, such as a PC. Pyxis works straight out of the box in less than five minutes, according to its campaign.