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This idea summarizes a variety of potential products. In each case, a wire is covered with a flexible LCD display which recieves instruction on what to display. The display changes with the type of wire.
Power cord: This is the simplest display, merely displaying a pulsating bluish
hue to denote electricity flow. Merely needs a portion of the power supply to run the display.
Audio cord: This one is quite fun. pulsates with alternating hues at the given sound/music's frequency. Requires input from the computer's media player, so the design of this cord will be a little more complicated.
VGA/video cords: Projects compressed image data across the length of the cord in streaming fashion.
Aside from the blatant distractions, this will make cord organization far easier, especially in the dark, when I often have to move my stuff for optimal viewing from curled up in bed.
Slightly OT, but similar
[Dub, Dec 25 2005]
||Pulsing lights get my vote, however unlikely the technology.
||Good basic application ~ i'd love to be able to tell which rat in the nest i'm looking at. How about having your cabling doing "voice recognition"? For instance, just say "Tower to Monitor" and the appropriate cord would glow.
||You used to be able to do something similar on the old Acorn BBC micro. The following command //VDU 23;12;0;0;0;// mapped the display circuits to 'view' the beginning 20K of RAM... You could watch things happening...in binary (1's were white pixels, 0's black). QI.
||You could try listening to them too, on an old radio. Dunno if this still works with new processors/EMC etc.
||I doubt LCD is the technology you want, and extracting
usable data from shielded cables isn't that easy,
especially in multicore cables like VGA. It would still be
very handy to see when data is actually passing through
the cable though.