A few years ago, iBuyPower showed off Project Snowblind, a PC case with a transparent LCD screen built into the side panel. At CES this year, the company unveiled the evolution of that project: Snowblind x4. As the name suggests, it features four Snowblind transparent LCD panels.
iBuyPower wanted to take Snowblind to the next level, so the natural evolution was to do more transparent LCD panels. The problem was, in most cases, one or more of the panels was tucked away on the back of the case, unavailable for proper appreciation. The answer for iBuyPower was to create a rotating chassis that could show off the impressive Snowblind visuals from every angle.
I got to see Snowblind x4 at CES today. The case is still in the concept stage (and would likely be prohibitively expensive for most users), but it's still incredible to behold. From every angle, or from a single vantage point as the chassis rotates in front of you, Snowblind x4 looks awesome.
It was a pain to build though. The biggest challenge in making Snowblind x4 happen was the rotation—specifically, signal input/output. With all the components up inside the rotating chassis, you can't just have normal USB, video/audio, and power cables plugged into your parts.
To solve the issue, iBuyPower turned to the engineering used for wind turbines. Inside the x4's central column is a copper-ringed cylinder that transfers signal between the rotating chassis and the stationary base. Unfortunately, this limits the data transfer rate, so it's only able to output HDMI 1.2 and USB 2.0. Faster speeds would be possible, but iBuyPower says it would also cost a lot more (on top of the already hefty pricetag).
As I mentioned, Snowblind x4 is just in the concept stage at this point, but it's the kind of moonshot prototype we love seeing at CES. Here's hoping it'll eventually make it to market at some point. I want to use it to play Doom.