This is really neat. Scratch is a free and open-source visual programming / learning environment. It’s somewhat targeted at kids but really it’s good for anyone new to programming concepts. It looks like Scratch supports several USB devices now, including blink(1). Check out this blog post for more info.
Niklas was recently “nerding out with a open api, raspberry pi, blink(1) and some node.js code” and created a cool example of using Stockholm bus tracking API to light up a blink(1) that lets him know when he should leave for the bus. And since it’s all running on a Raspberry Pi hanging on his wall, it’s a compact easy-to-see single-purpose device.
Check out his blog post “A Nerds Way of Keeping Track of When the Next Bus Leaves” and github repo for full details.
Lua is a very interesting and efficient programming language that’s exceptionally cross-platform. Since our blink(1) notification light is also very cross-platform, we’ve always wanted native Lua functionality for it, but haven’t had to resources to do it. Fortunately, Matt Burke made a great Lua library for blink(1) and put it up on github. Thanks Matt!
ThingM’s blink(1) USB notification light is now on Amazon US! We are super excited about this and are honored to be part of the brand new Amazon service called Amazon Launchpad. Launchpad is a curated site for cool crowdfunded products, much like other curated product sites you might be familiar with. But this one is backed by Amazon’s awesome fulfillment infrastructure. We’re still getting our blink(1) page set up and stock sent to their warehouses, but we’re in the system and Amazon is taking orders and gauging demand.
— John Edgar Park (@johnedgarpark) October 31, 2015
— John Edgar Park (@johnedgarpark) October 29, 2015
Jonathan Kaufman hooked up IBM Watson’s language tone analysis API to our blink(1) USB LED light to summarize the emotional state of his Slack channel as a color. And all using node-blink1. It’s very cool. As he writes:
Last week I picked up a blink(1) at a conference, and had a lot of fun with it. It’s a pretty simple little device that can conjure up any color that can be described via RGB. Naturally, I decided to hook it up to IBM Watson’s Tone Analyzer in order to visualize the sentiment of my Slack channel in real time. […]
Watson gives us values of 0 – 1 for the following nine sub-categories from the following three categories:
- Emotional Tone: cheerfulness, negative, and anger
- Writing Tone: analytical, confident, and tentative
- Social Tone: openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness
We love Node.js. In many ways it’s the future. For those of you who also like Node and want a simple example of how to use node-blink1 or just need an HTTP-to-blink(1) adapter without running Blink1Control, here’s node-blink1-server. It’s the first of many Node projects we’ll be creating.
And if you want to explore more of Node with blink(1), here are a few more examples:
- node-red-node-blink1 – Node-RED node to control a blink(1)
- meshblu-blink1 – Meshblu blink(1) connector for use in Octoblu or with other services
- buildblink – monitor continuous integration builds and notify you via blink(1)
- grunt-blink1 – Configures blink(1) inside your Gruntfile
- tweet-blink – real-time visualtion of tweets using blink(1)
ElectricFlow is a tool designed to orchestrate large-scale software delivery. This is an increasingly notorious problem for everyone in the IoT space. To demonstrate how ElectricFlow could work for automotive software delivery, ElectricCloud made a simulation using a Raspberry Pi and a few blink(1) lights. This is a great example of how blink(1)s can be useful: you need a simple non-screen indicator on your embedded system. (and remember if you need more LEDs, blink(1)s can be hacked to add up to 18 LEDs)
Cody Matthieu wrote up a neat HOWTO on hooking up a Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Polar Heart Rate monitor to a blink(1) notification light with the Octoblu device integration framework. (and doing testing with the very good LightBlue Explorer app from Punch Through) It’s a really neat idea and yet another interesting case of assuming we always have a BLE-to-Internet gateway in our pockets thanks to modern smartphones.
The Open Source Hardware Association works to help define what it means to be “Open Hardware”, as well as foster a community, help creators navigate licensing models, and promote consistent terminology for Open Hardware projects. Their recent 2015 Open Hardware Summit was a resounding success. ThingM believes in OSHWA’s mission and we recently became supporting members. Thank you OSHWA for your work so far and continued success!