Working with his father, Ron Sears, Nick Sears is designing and building the Orb, a rotating LED display that uses persistence of vision to produce moving images in 3D space.

Why you should listen

Nick Sears is a classic tinkerer -- his resume  lists jobs that run the gamut from writing a mobile messaging framework to building a DC-DC switching voltage regulator. Along with his dad, Ron Sears, he's got a pretty neat father-son project going on: the Orb.

It's inspired by Buckminster Fuller's 1962 proposal for the Geoscope, which called for "a 200-foot-diameter sphere covered with 10 million computer-controlled light sources to be suspended over the East River in full view of the United Nations." But by making the sphere spin, the Sears realized, they could use persistence of vision and LEDs to create a bright display with a three-dimensional effect using far fewer light sources.

Sears is now a student in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. He and his father presented the Orb version 2 at Coachella in 2008 and continue to tinker with it.

Nick Sears’ TED talks