Two 3V CR2032 Batteries
Sometimes it pays to blend in with the crowd and not catch any unwanted
attention. However, there are some times when getting others’ notice is exactly
what is wanted, whether it be for safety or individual expression. For those
that have the need of high visibility with a twist, I present the
PIX sports. The PIX sports is a
watch, stopwatch, movement counter, Motion Responsive Display (MRD) and
scrolling Text Message display. The wearer is guaranteed to garner the attention
of everyone that sees them, though I would suppose that whether that attention
was good or not would depend on the context in which the device was used.
The approximately 3" long x 1" wide x 0.25" thick PIX sports houses 75 (five
rows of fifteen) red LEDs that can be programmed for a variety of functions.
The bulge caused by the B button can be seen in the left
picture, and the A button’s bulge can be seen in the right
Composed of solid white plastic on its rear and clear plastic on the front,
there is a 1/8" rubber gasket that surrounds the perimeter and encloses two
function buttons, labeled A and B. The PIX sports feels quite
solid and does not creak. There is the sound of a loose item going back and
forth when the device is tilted, I learned later that this was the motion sensor
for the MRD.
Included in the package are two sealed Mylar containers. One holds the
device, and the other holds its accessories – two batteries, a clip, a screw,
and two rubber plugs for securing the batteries.
The batteries should be placed negative side down in their receptacles,
followed by the rubber plugs. At this point, the PIX sports can be worn as a
pendant with a lanyard through the hole at its top.
Or if the user should prefer, the plastic clip can be installed by inserting
the screw through the front.
As I mentioned previously, there are two rubber sealed buttons, one on either
side of the top of the device. These are labeled A and B, and will
be used to access various modes or for programming. In the picture above you can
see the labeling for the A button.
The first mode is the Power Saving Mode, which is where one lone LED will
blink to remind the user that the device is on, yet the whole screen will not be
lighted in order to conserve battery power.
The PIX sports can be worn when exercising outdoors. I would imagine that
when clipped to a jogger’s sleeve or the back of a bicycle, the PIX sports would
be an incredible visibility tool – especially when used for its Motion
Responsive Display (MRD). This mode is reached from Standby Mode by holding the A button
for one second and then releasing. The LEDs will fill the screen and then meet
in the center, at a pulsing line. As the wearer moves, a motion sensor inside
the device is tripped and the lights will contract and expand across the PIX
In Message Mode, the PIX sports can be programmed to display up to 30
characters, including numbers, letters, symbols and spaces. The user can expect
to spend a bit of time familiarizing themselves with this mode, as it is a
bit tricky until mastered. The Message Mode is entered by quickly pressing the
A button until a "Welcome to PIX sports" message scrolls across the
screen. Holding the A button for exactly one second will enter the edit
mode, at which time holding the A or B buttons for one second will
then either move the cursor forward or back. When the cursor is in position, a
quick series of presses on the A or B button will advance through
all of the possible letters, symbols or numbers. When ready to move on to the
next letter, pressing the A or B button for a quick count of three
will move the user either forward or back to the next character. Sounds easy
You do not want to know how long it took me to get it right. Until I
got this method down, I was either holding the button for too long or not long
enough, which would keep the cursor from advancing which caused me no small
amount of frustration. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to quickly enter my
own message. Exiting from this function can be done by advancing to the upward
arrow symbol, and holding the A and B buttons for a second.
I am not sure when I would want to walk around with a scrolling marquee on my
person, but I have seen it done at trade shows and I suppose that this would be
a great booth tool or conversation starter for the right salesman. Maybe I
should use some reverse psychology and program mine to say "YOU DO NOT SEE
I thought it quite ironic that the packaging warns against staring at the
screen’s LEDs, when I must have done just that for at least 30 minutes as I
tried to set the Message Mode. Ah well, I’ll probably go blind now.
The next feature is Watch Mode, which is easily reached by tapping the A
button one step past Message Mode. Holding the A button for one second
causes the minute lights to flash, and they can be set by pressing the B
button. Tapping the A button again will cause the hour lights to blink.
Holding the B button down at the appropriate time will cause the minutes
or hours to rapidly advance. Setting the watch is finalized by holding the B
button to the count of three, which will then send the PIX sports to standby
mode. A cool feature of the watch is that the time can be accessed from within
any mode by holding the B button for a full second. After the time
flashes, the formerly active mode will resume.
The second picture is blurry, but it shows how bright the LEDs
are as they display the time
Stopwatch Mode is reached by pressing the A button again, upon which time the
user will see a screen with a series of zeros that either start or end with a
► or ◄
symbol. Pressing the B button once will start the stopwatch, and pressing it
again will cause it to stop. The PIX sports can be used in other modes while the
stopwatch is running. The purpose of the arrow symbols is to tell the user
exactly what portion of the recorded time they are viewing. For instance, 1:23
► (scroll) ◄
45:6 would be read as 1 hour 23 minutes 45 seconds and 6/10ths of a
The last function I will talk about is the Signal Mode, which is basically a
series of flashing screens in which several different series of patters will be
displayed, including: a solid bar of all 75 LEDs, a large arrow, or
various other patterns formed by the blinking LEDs. Pressing the A button for a
solid second will enter the set mode which allows the user to select which
pattern to display. Once a pattern has been chosen, the B button should
be pressed and held for a full second will cause the animation to start and a
series of epileptic-fit inducing light displays will commence. This mode can be
exited by pressing the A and B buttons together for a full second,
then quickly pressing the A button.
Just about impossible to photograph, this arrow is rapidly
rising and descending
The batteries on the PIX sports are supposed to last for over 70 hours if the
device is left constantly running, which it will be doing in one mode or
another, anytime the batteries are installed. I would imagine that this type of battery
life is something that conventioneers, outdoor exercise enthusiasts and "club
kids" can all appreciate. If you want to be noticed by everyone that sees you,
then the XenoFreaks
PIX sports will definitely
accomplish that mission.
Price: About $25.00
Bright LED lights that will make user noticeable
Multiple modes make the device fun and practical
Bright LED lights that will make user noticeable
The message feature is tricky and a bit frustrating to set until you get the
hang of it