University of Michigan – Fall 2010 – SmartSurfaces offered a collaborative, project-based learning experience in which undergraduate artists, designers, architects and engineers came together to build structural surfaces that have the capability to adapt to information and environmental conditions.
Each team was required to design, build, program and test a ‘Biomimetic SmartSurface’. They had to consider and negotiate what makes a surface smart, and why we would be interested in copying nature to try to solve human problems.
Creators: Steven Madsen, Material Science and Engineering
Kevin Yien, Material Science and Engineering
Chris Niswander, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Jordan Stoewsand-Kryscio, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Mallory Baran, School of Art and Design
Michael Theodore, School of Art and Design
Various types of LEDs diffusely illuminate a wall comprised of straws. Mimicking a swarm of fireflies, the lights flee and evade according to motion detection. The soft texture generated by the straws, in concert with ‘moving’ LEDs, offers a unique visual experience and gives users the childhood feeling of playing with fireflies.
Blink1Control, our primary control app for controlling blink(1) and hooking up to IFTTT.com has been updated. It fixes some long-standing bugs that really bugged us and improves functionality with Mac OS X’s “App Nap” feature.
If you use Blink1Control, please upgrade to v1.94.
Get it now from blink1.thingm.com/blink1control.
For release notes, see our blink1 github releases page.
Instead of cyber Mondays or black Fridays, we at ThingM think the entire month of December should be a time for discounts.
For all of December, get 20% off of blink(1) USB notification lights and accessories!
Use coupon code
20blinkmas2014 on buy.thingm.com.
blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet. It makes a great gift or a great present for yourself. It’s really useful in the workplace, as a monitoring tool or to let others know your availability.
If you’re in the EU, you can get blink(1)s shipped same-day from a nearby Amazon distributor.
Check out our list of blink(1) resellers for links.
Just a reminder for anyone in the EU area. Thanks to our friends at 1eyeddeer, you can get our blink(1) USB notification light at the following country-specific Amazon stores:
These are in-stock in Amazon’s warehouse and will ship immediately. Now you can avoid the weirdly long shipping times and customs duties from ordering from the US.
We’re pleased to announce that blink(1), our nifty USB LED notification light, is now available in the Maker Shed.
We love Make and are really excited that they are an official US distributor of blink(1). If you haven’t already, consider subscribing to Make. Every issue has a lot of fun in it.
NotifierLight is a Windows application that supports multiple types of notification lights and notification sources, including TAPI & OBDC. It’s been in development since 2012, is open-source, and has a nice plugin architecture for new notification sources.
As of a month ago, NotifierLight now supports blink(1)!
If you are a .NET aficionado, you can write your own plugins pretty quickly.
The creator of NotifierLight also made these great door hanger or desk displays to let your co-workers know what the colors mean.
Youtube review channel KevinsTechHelp did a nice unboxing and quick review of blink(1). Check it out below:
Hackaday, one of the oldest hacker blogs on the Net, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on 4 Oct 2014. There will workshops, build-offs, a party, and a mini-conference in the afternoon.
The event will be held at the location of Hackaday’s new “HackASpace” hackerspace, before they do the build out.
During the mini-conference, Hackaday asked Tod to do a lightning talk on the history of blink(1). It should be a lot of fun, come join! Head over to the Eventbrite page to register.
A few days ago ThingM friend Rusty, operator of the wonderful SomaFM, wondered if there would ever be a “blink(16)”: a blink(1) with a 4×4 grid of LEDs. Well it turns out that due to a secret feature of all blink(1) mk2s, it’s actually pretty easy to make, if you have some WS2812-style LED strip laying around.
Making a blink(1) mk2 use 16 extra LEDs is pretty easy because it has a hidden 3-pin port for wiring up WS2812/NeoPixel-type LED strips. In this photo, you can see the three holes: one each for Gnd, +5V, and data.
Below is a video showing it in action. The two ‘blink1-tool’ commands used in the video are:
blink1-tool --random=1000 -l 18 -m 50 -t 50
blink1-tool --running -l 18 -m 200 -t 200
Notice the “-l” option. Using this option, you can control a single LED in a blink(1) mk2. For instance, on a regular blink(1) mk2, you can do:
blink1-tool -l 1 --red
blink1-tool -l 2 --blue
to make the top LED red and the bottom one blue. For the “random” and “running” commands, the “-l” option means how many LEDs to use.
Some build photos from Flickr: