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 became a good friend to me and Tod.
So we were ecstatic when Common Studio, Kim’s social design studio with Danny Phillips, had a string of successful projects. Their Greenaid Kickstarter project started their seed bomb gumball machine business (the machines and bombs are now found in stores all over the world) and directly inspired us to do a Kickstarter project. With Common Studio’s success, we knew that it was only a matter of time that she would turn her attention to it full-time. We are very grateful for her time and support in transitioning ThingM to a post-Kim world.
Kim, thank you very much. Good luck to you and Common Studio. We will miss you.
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) enclosure parts on our corner of Shapeways:
To try this out, we ordered the enclosure top in both the “White Strong & Flexible” and the “White Strong & Flexible Polished” materials. Cost per top was around $2.75 USD. The tops arrived in a little over a week, in little plastic bags.
Replacing the stock metal top was easy, just use your fingernail to pop it off, then snap on the new top.
The final result is pretty cool looking, though the Shapeways part is a slightly different shade of white than the neutral white of the blink(1) enclosure:
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.
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.
blink(1) KICKSTARTER UPDATES
Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you for your patience as we developed the non-programmer documentation and applications! We are working constantly towards making blink(1) as easy-to-use as possible. For Windows users we now have the Blink1Control application available to match the OS X version.
We have shared some new ThingM projects are up on the blog! Matthew Brooks made a very cool “busy” indicator door light out of his blink(1). Inspired after accidentally being interrupted while on a phone call, the green light means he’s available while red indicates that he’s busy.
We’ve also shared our first ThingM Seedkit project for 2013! The EcoTarium is a unique indoor-outdoor science and nature museum in Worcester MA. The goal of using the ThingM Seedkit is to use programmable LEDs in a museum setting. Learn more about the first “Paper Theater” project on our blog.
The EcoTarium is a unique indoor-outdoor science and nature museum in Worcester MA. Set in an urban oasis, the EcoTarium has a digital planetarium, observatory, narrow gauge railroad wildlife trails and engaging science, nature and technology exhibits. The EcoTarium offers visitors a chance to get hands-on with family friendly exhibits. The goal of using the ThingM Seedkit is to use programmable LEDs in a museum setting.
First Project: Paper Theater
What we did: To test the idea of a paper or model theater, we used the reproduction book ”Children’s Theater”, a pop-up book with four theater scenes published in Germany in 1878. It provided an easy start for experimenting with MinMs as set lighting.
What they learned: Our kids for this demo were quite young, and were delighted with the pop-up book theater. We used the Christmas themed page to match the season. Again we started with standard LEDs and batteries, then moved on to BlinkM products. The concept of stage lighting and inserting LEDs between the wings was easy for them to try themselves, and they were surprised by what the lighting affects could do to change the mood of the book pages.
What we learned: Using the BlinkM Sequencer to change the lighting between “scenes” was a big success. We used a LinkM, CtrlM and FreeM let them do this at a distance. The favorite was using the thunderstorm sequence on the Red Riding Hood set to create threatening weather before the wolf showed up!
Thank you for your patience as we developed the non-programmer documentation and applications! We are working constantly towards making blink(1) as easy-to-use as possible. For Windows users we now have the Blink1Control application available to match the OS X version.