1) Arduino Yun Microcontroller - http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardYun?from=Main.ArduinoYUN
Our Yun is requesting messages from our web server over the internet and passing those message to the LED matrices. Both steps of the procedure are coded in a single loop that makes use of different libraries for sending/processing HTTP requests and controlling NeoMatrix matrices.
We started by reading the docs at the link above, then read through this getting started guide: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2015/02/arduino-wifi-getting-started-arduino-yun.html
2) Adafruit Neomatrix LED matrices (3) - https://www.adafruit.com/products/1487
The LED matrices display whatever we send to them from the Arduino. Each matrix has 64 individually addressable pixels that can be set to color on the RGB (255, 255, 255) scale. They are big time fun to play with.
If you want to use them in a project...
Absolute must read: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberguide/overview
Very helpful tutorial we followed: https://learn.adafruit.com/led-art-with-fadecandy/wiring-your-leds