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Pixelstick lets you paint photo-realistic images and animations with 198 LED bulbs

One of the creative things you can do with a camera is light painting, a long-exposure technique where a light source is moved in front of a camera while the aperture stays open for a set amount of time, in order to create an image. You’ve probably seen plenty of examples of this, such as people using flashlights to write their names or draw some kind of abstract picture. Light painting can be fun once you get the hang of it, but it can also get boring very quickly. A new product called Pixelstick from Bitbanger Labs (creators of the Remee sleeping mask), however, plans to elevate this camera trick by taking it to the next level. One of our recent “awesome tech you can’t buy yet,” the Pixelstick is a long, lightweight 6-foot aluminum light bar containing 198 color LEDs that lets you create photo-realistic images, artsy abstract designs, and even animation.

Here’s how it works: The Pixelstick can interpret images you create in an image editor, which are stored on an SD card. The device displays an image one line at a time, and each of the 198 color LEDs corresponds to one pixel in the image, which can be 1 to 198 pixels tall and several thousands wide. Through long exposure and depending on how long you set it for, you can create abstract images or a photo-realistic image by moving the Pixelstick slowly, like a super-long brushstroke. If you add time-lapse photography in the mix, you can even create an animated 3D image. The Pixelstick is complemented by a handbox that lets you select the image from the SD card; control brightness, tint, firing speed, vertical flip, and direction; and trigger a camera remotely for wireless shooting (Canon C1). The device runs off eight AA batteries.

The Pixelstick is currently running a funding campaign on Kickstarter, but, since our first report, it has already nearly tripled its goal (several of the pledge options have already sold out). Check out the video of how the Pixelstick works – it’s pretty cool. If you want to be one of the first to get one, you should do it soon.