Make an omnidirectional blink(1) with a ping-pong ball

Here’s a quick hack to try if you have a blink(1) and want a light that is large and viewable from more angles than what blink(1) normally provides. It does make things a bit larger though. It turns out ping-pong balls make excellent diffusers for LEDs. Here’s how to attach a ping-pong ball diffuser to your blink(1) so you can put a computer-controlled notification light just about anywhere. Tools Needed: – blink(1) USB RGB LED – white ping pong ball – hobby knife – hot glue gun – USB extension cable (optional)

MakerFaire 2013 Wrap Up

Whew, MakerFaire Bay Area 2013 is over and it was astoundingly fun. Not only did we get to interact with so many people doing awesome things with ThingM products (like these BlinkM MinM earrings) but we got to show off a bunch of projects made with blink(1) and BlinkM-family stuff to thousands of new people. We heard tallies of 120,000 people showed up over the weekend, and we love seeing the concepts the Maker community inspires diffusing out into the larger world, as this LA Times article speaks to. This year not only were we fortunate enough to have a ThingM table in the Maker Shed (Thank you Leah, Alex, Will, Carlyn, & Mike for helping staff it), but we […]

Internet catflap with Twine, Pi and blink(1)

On the Raspberry Pi forums, Will is working on an Internet-connected catflap using blink(1), Raspberry Pi, Twine. The Twine is the sensor (it has a tilt-detection) and the Raspberry Pi + blink(1) are the output notification. Can’t wait to see the final installation! Here’s a video he made demonstrating the general idea.

ThingM at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013, come visit!

ThingM will be at Maker Faire Bay Area again, come visit us! We’ll be showing off blink(1) USB LED notifier, the entire BlinkM Smart LED family, including the wearable BlinkM MinM and the powerful BlinkM MaxM. We’ll be demonstrating cool uses of BlinkMs as part of home lighting, art installations, and using them with Arduinos & Raspberry Pis. You can even make a BlinkM into a tiny Arduino by itself. Additionally, Mike will be giving a presentation on How Design will Reinvent Manufacturing and Tod ll be giving a presentation on how to turn an idea from Arduino sketch to a retail product, using blink(1) as an example. Maker Faires are a huge amount of fun, packed with exciting things […]

blink(1) intro video

I’ve yet to put together a proper intro / getting started video for blink(1). Here’s a minor edit of our Kickstarter video that gives the rundown of the basic idea of blink(1) and how one would use it. To learn more about blink1, check out: And here’s a 20-second short version of the same thing: One thing that’s pretty obvious in this video is we hadn’t settled on the final design yet, except that we wanted the light to come out the sides instead of on the top/bottom faces.

Goodbye, Kim and THANK YOU

Three and a half years ago, we hired Kim Karlsrud as a temporary project coordinator. Little did we know that she was about to become an indispensable part of the ThingM team (that’s her, second from the left). In that time she’s done everything from organizing our meetings, running our sales effort, to writing our newsletters, to advising us on ecommerce strategy. She worked with design schools to get BlinkMs into the hands of design students and give us many inspirational ideas in return. She was the glue that held so many of our half-baked, partially working ideas together. Her matter-of-fact approach effectively conceals a ruthless negotiator and hard-nosed businesswoman, a quality that we took advantage of over and over. She […]

Shapeways your own blink(1) enclosure!

Love your blink(1) but wish the colors came out the top too?  We designed blink(1) so you can swap in a different top or even make your own.  Here’s one we got made from Shapeways:   If you’ve not heard of Shapeways yet, you should go there now and poke around. It’s an amazing site that offers an entirely new way for objects to be made and sold.  Instead of a warehouse of products, Shapeways houses a database of 3D files uploaded by creators.  When a customer buys one of the objects, it is fabricated on-demand, from a variety of materials that range from plastic to metal to ceramic. If you’d like to try this yourself, you can find the […]

blink(1) lights sequenced with Eigenharp Alpha

Eigenharp user Geert recently posted about a blink(1) driver for Eigenharp. Using blink(1)s looks like a great way to provide visual accompaniment to the complex things you can do with an Eigenharp.  His library can control multiple blink(1)s simultaneously and he demos controlling five of them. Here’s a video demonstration: Check out his post and the code for more info.    

Blink1Control updates, a PDF guide, more libraries & tools

We posted a Kickstarter update a few days ago. If you missed it, we fixed up Blink1Control a bit, especially with regards to IFTTT. There was an event timestamp issue that was affecting Windows users mostly. The updated download links are: Blink1Control for Windows Blink1Control for Mac OS X And we have a quick little PDF on hooking IFTTT up to blink(1): Getting Started with Blink1Control and IFTTT (1.7M PDF)   And a bunch of libraries and tools created by the community.   For more details, see the kickstarter update.  

blink(1) + Google Latitude = “Where’s Daddy?”

Joe Walnes did a neat 25-minute Pomodoro-scale hack in Python where he hooked up Google Latitude to a blink1 so his kids can know where he is based on the blink(1)’s color. Or as he calls it, his “where’s daddy?” indicator, showing: Blue -> home (or near home) Red -> work Green -> commuting. Here’s the code gist And read more about it here.