You want shiny? Pretty? Informative? What is this, a 6pm news-anchor? NO! It's the Adafruit 16x2 Character LCD Shield, in red/green/blue POSITIVE display (the text is colored, not the background).
Want to change the colour of the text on your display, on the fly? This Adafruit display gives you the flexibility of the RGB spectrum on a single LCD! But to do so, many, many I/O pins give their life to the function. 6 controlling the LCD, and another 3 control the RGB. That uses up half of the pins available on a classic Arduino!
Solution: Take this 16x2 Character LCD, with the 3 backlight pins AND 5 keypad pins, and link them all together so you use only the two I2C pins on the Arduino! The best part is you don't really lose those two pins either, since you can stick i2c-based sensors, RTCs, etc and have them share the I2C bus. This is a super slick way to add a display without all the wiring hassle.
This shield is perfect for when you want to build a stand-alone project with its own user interface. The 4 directional buttons plus select button allows basic control without having to attach a bulky computer.
The shield is designed for 'classic' Arduinos such as the Uno, Duemilanove, Diecimila, etc. It will also work perfectly with Arduino Mega R3's. Earlier Mega's have the I2C pins in a different location and will require you to solder two wires from the I2C pins on the shield and plug them into the different I2C locations at Digital 20 & 21.
This product comes as a kit! Included is a high quality, USA-made PCB and all the components (buttons, header etc). This product comes with a 16x2 RGB positive. Assembly is easy, even if you've never soldered before and the kit can be completed in 30 minutes. Check the product tutorial page for assembly instructions before purchasing.
Of course, we even wrote an easy-to-use Arduino library that you can easily add to your project. It acts just like the built in LiquidCrystal library, but automatically uses the shield pins. You can also easily query the 5 keypad buttons to get input through the library, so you get extra buttons without using any more pins.
At this time, the library and shield can control the RGB backlight of our character LCDs by turning each LED on or off. This means you can display the following colors: Red, Yellow, Green, Teal, Blue, Violet, White and all off. There is no support for PWM control of the backlight at this time, so if you need to have more granular control of the RGB backlight to display a larger range of colors, this shield can't do that (the I2C expander does not have PWM output).
Product page with tutorials, documentation and assembly information