Extreme sheep herding, brought to you by Samsung

Computer-game playing farmyard animals push LED industry to strong revenue growth

Published December 17, 2009 7:53PM (EST)

The market intelligence firm iSuppli is predicting that the LED light industry will shrug off the worldwide semiconductor industry decline, and register double-digit revenue growth in 2009 and a "a near doubling in market revenue by 2013."

iSuppli analyst Jagdish Rebello says the "growth is being driven by the rising penetration of LEDs as the lighting source of choice for a myriad of existing lighting applications, including automotive, traffic and street lighting, the backlighting of small LCD displays and keypads in mobile handsets, personal navigation devices, digital picture frames and cameras. The market also is being aided by the emergence of new applications, such as backlighting of large-sized LCDs in televisions, notebooks and computer monitors and personal illumination."

But what about the sheep?

Or perhaps you missed the emergence of flocks of back-lit LED sheep as the latest killer app for the latest, greatest, lightning technology? Korean technology giant Samsung hooked up with some Wales sheepfarmers and produced some fairly stunning demonstrations of what can be done with a heck of a lot of LED lights and some very enthusiastic Australian shepherd dogs.

If I were a sheep, I'd probably be annoyed beyond exasperation by the human-dog cabal that forced me to play the part of a pixel in a game of Pong spread out across a Welsh hillside, but there's no denying the sheer kookiness of as one commentator described it, "farmyard animals playing giant computer games:

For bonus, here's some light news coverage of the viral sensation:

And just to prove it's not all about the sheep, here's some more mesmerizing LED magic, this time from the Bayer headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.

The Bayer display incorporated 5.6 million LED lights -- suggesting that the solid growth of the LED industry might be at least partially due to massive public relation stunts.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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