IoT Scavenger hunt w/ Raspberry Pi & blink(1)

Recently folks at TheAppsLab organized a scavenger hunt game for the KScope15 conference. In their write-up, they described the Internet-of-Things style devices they built to track people’s game progress.  These devices were battery-powered, WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pis with NFC readers and blink(1)s, and probably cost less than $150 each. Amazing!

This year we organized a scavenger hunt for Kscope15 in collaboration with the ODTUG board and YCC. […]

The Smart Scanner was a great way to showcase IoT. We used the beloved Raspberry Pis to host an NFC reader. We used the awesome blink(1) USB LED light to indicate whether the scan was successful or not. We also added a Mini USB Wi-Fi dongle and a high capacity battery to assure complete freedom from wires.


After the event they had another write-up about the success of the scavenger hunt, with some nice words and some great pics:

The Scavenger Hunt was quite a comprehensive system for people to win points in various ways, and keep track of events, points and a leaderboard. And of course, we had one Internet of Things (IoT) component that people could search for and tap to win points.

And here is the build, with powerful battery connected to it, complete with anti-theft feature, which is double-sided duct tape :) All together, it is a stand-alone, self-contained, and definitely mobile, computer.

Isn’t it cool? I overheard on multiple occasions people say it was the coolest thing at the conference.


Steam buddy indicator with blink(1) & Python

Do you love playing games on Steam?  We sure do.  Awhile back, Justin emailed us saying he whipped up a handy Steam buddy indicator using the one of the Python blink(1) libraries and the Steam Web API.  In just a few lines of code, his buddy indicator visually cycles through the online state of select Steam buddies.

Catch a video demo of it below.  And the code to try out yourself is right here: blink(1)

Thanks Justin, this is awesome!

Team status with blink(1), Raspberry Pi & IFTTT

We have sold a lot of blink(1) notification lights to large organizations.   We’ve always wondered what these companies are using our devices for and recently someone from a team within a company whose name rhymes with “voogle” contacted us and sent us this neat team tracker using blink(1)s,  a Raspberry Pi, and IFTTT.

“Hi, I just wanted to send you a pic of v1 of our team status board. We’re using IFTTT connected to a gmail account to control each person’s light, e.g in the morning when they email the team to say “WFH today”, their light will turn yellow. V1 uses 13 lights and a raspberry pi connected to wifi. We have a long roadmap of enhancements (including making a better housing) but thought you might enjoy seeing the first iteration.”

It’s really neat to see how our products are being used and mapping each team member to their own blink(1) looks like a big physical IM/Skype availability status window.

blink1 team tracker

blink(1) notification light 15% solstice sale!


It’s summer time!* and to celebrate we are having a 15% off blink(1) notification USB RGB LEDs and accessories at  Use discount code “solstice2015” at checkout and blink up your  summer.  Sale ends 6 July 2015.

(* if you’re not in the Northern Hemisphere or want to avoid customs fees in the EU area, check out our list of  great international blink(1) resellers)




French blink(1) reviews & tech article

A couple of reviews of our blink(1) notification light have shown up recently in the French-speaking part of the Web. As English speakers, it’s always interesting to see other languages’ versions of the technical terms we use every day. French especially, see below.

And for the more command-line inclined, here’s a French language version of using blink1-tool on a Raspberry Pi:

Remember, in the EU, we how have several ways to buy blink(1), including Domadoo now too.



Microsoft Outlook mail checker for blink(1)

sajingeo-outlook-blink1Here’s a great way to hook up blink(1) up to Microsoft Outlook.  Github user @sajingeo created a nicely-written Python script “” that polls queries Outlook and then calls “blink1-tool”.  You don’t need to be running Blink1Control to get this to work. (if you are, just use the “blink1control-tool” cmdline program instead of “blink1-tool”).  He also includes a handy batch file to start it all off.  Thanks sajingeo!

blink(1) available Seeed Studio, great for AU & Asia folks


We’re very excited to announce that our blink(1) USB notification LED is now available via Seeed Studio.  Seeed is a wonderful company based in Shenzhen, China and helped ThingM manufacture blink(1).  And since they’re based in Shenzhen, they’re a much closer source blink(1) from if you’re places like Australia, Japan, or Singapore.  Thanks Seeed!

ThingM at MakerFaire 2015 Bay Area, come join us!

ThingM will once again be at Maker Faire Bay Area.  It’s the 10-year anniversary and we’ve been going since the very beginning (and have had a booth there for 8 years). This year it’s on May 16 & 17 2015.  Come join us!  We’ll be showing off projects made with our blink(1) USB RGB LED and our BlinkM Smart LED family of products.  If you’ve done something neat with ThingM products, come tell us about it.  See you there!