Every once in a while, we find a project on Kickstarter that really resonates with us, or at least with enough other people to catch our notice. The latest such invention is called blink(1).
The idea is fairly simple, but also a bit belated in its appearance, which might be the reason for how the ThingM team has accumulated four times as much money as they aimed for.
The goal was of $29,000 (23,584 Euro), but with 2,363 backers (at the time of this article's writing) the cash amount has reached $115,246 (93,726 Euro).
That said, blink(1)
is a small, full-color RGB LED light that gets plugged inside a Universal Serial port (on a PC, LAN switch, wtc) and notifies owners when a data source in the cloud or the computer (or server even) has something new to report.
To elaborate, the small item “packs three dimensions of information (color, brightness and pattern)” and can be configured to keep track of such things as Skype, social media websites (like Twitter), active downloads, weather (through a background link to a website), calendar, etc.
The USB light does this without the user having to check any windows or website, provided the initial configuration was completed successfully.
Speaking of which, blink(1) shows up as a system device on Windows, an Applescript target on Mac OS and a command-line tool on Linux operating systems.
“The name 'blink(1)' is a play on the Unix help system ('man pages') where command's help pages are given by their name and section,” ThingM explains.
“Not only are the blink(1) tools and apps open source, [but] so is its entire design. Feel free to hack it to make it do cool new things.”
All in all, blink(1) is a RGB LED with an USB connector and nothing else. There is, of course, a small controller chip, but it only holds the firmware necessary to program and control the behavior of the light (and hack it, as the case may be).
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, IFTTT.com, Boxcar.io and other services will be supported at launch, plus control via smartphone.