Jacob's Ladder

February 2017 | By Yervant Kulbashian

A beautiful Live Wallpaper using swarm intelligence.


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Jacob’s Ladder was conceived as a way to experiment with swarm intelligence, a type of A.I. where organized group behaviours arise out of the independent actions of hundreds or thousands of small ‘creatures’. It visualizes this through a beautiful Live Wallpaper, one that’s also astoundingly battery-efficient. In Jacob’s Ladder, ‘intelligent' cubes living in a Minecraft-like world move around the space and organize themselves into larger shapes and structures. Each cube follows a simple set of rules, like ants creating an ant-hill without an overseeing architect. To make sure the Live Wallpaper runs smoothly, both the A.I. and the graphics are done in C++, and use the OpenGL API directly. The graphics have been refined to the point that Jacob’s Ladder won't show up in the Battery Monitor in your phone’s Settings. This means you can run it continuously, for hours, and your battery will last just as long as before. (The only exception to this rule is when you use the composer to create your own themes.)

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