Hi everyone! We’ve been working steadily towards creating the 6000 blink(1)s. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
Chip programming is how we start manufacturing for our other products, so we figured it would be a good way to do it for blink(1) too. This does mean that firmware has to be done and tested at the very start of the manufacturing run. Oh, if we could only wait to the last minute! The firmware was finalized over a week ago and sent off to our programming house. They are laser-engraved at the programming house with “BLINK1” to let us know they’ve been programmed and to let you know you have a real blink(1)!
We’ve also been working with a packaging manufacturer to make a unique white box with magnetic clasp to hold blink(1). We’ve had two samples created so far and are working on a third. Once we get some nicer pics we’ll post them in an update. We plan on the packaging will be nice enough that you’d be happy giving a blink(1) as a gift.
For those of you who want different light output pattern than what the stock enclosure provides, we will be providing alternate enclosures on Shapeways and Thingiverse. If you’ve worked with BlinkMs, you know the LEDs we use can be painfully bright. We’ve been tuning the enclosure so the light from blink(1) isn’t blinding but a soothing glow. But we also want to give the option of experiencing the fun of raw LED light. So we’ve made the case top removable for your own experiments. For instance, here’s two blink(1) prototypes, one with a 3d-printed prototype enclosure, another topless but a glue gun stick used as a light pipe. LEDs are fun!
Hardware Innovation Workshop talk:
If you’d like to hear some behind-the-scenes backstory of blink(1), in May Tod Kurt spoke at Make Magazine’s Hardware Innovation Workshop. In his talk he describes how fast products can be developed using Open Source tools and built with Open Source components.