Interesting little LED unit called the blinkm, targeted for the “maker/hacker” community. Each tiny unit has an RGB LED and integral playback processor and memory, plus works with Arduino, Processing or has its own Java sequencer software.
I love the description from thingm, the company that makes the blinkm:
“ThingM is a device studio. We design and manufacture ubiquitous computing / Internet of Things products that combine user experience design expertise with a deep knowledge of cutting-edge technologies. We create useful tools for designers and innovative products for everyone else. Our specialty is making everyday things from the near future.”
blinkm is a good example of my previous post about Paola Antonelli‘s comments regarding how designers are becoming empowered with tools that allow them to direct “hack” together their own designs, enabling much more creative exploration. I like their term “Technology Sketch“:
“As part of our product development process, ThingM creates Technology Sketches, which are examples of early stage conceptual approaches to how a product might work, rather than actual fully-functional systems. We believe in lightweight, agile, user-centered product development, which means that we focus on users’ experiences first and technological details later.
We prefer to explore ideas first without the constraints of technological limitations, before we create technologies to address those limitations. Our Technology Sketches document that process, the kinds of ideas we have, and how we develop them. We are continuing to develop the ideas and technologies at the core of these sketches. The final products that use those ideas may not resemble what is in the sketch, but the sketch will have been an important part of the development process, and one we share because we feel that others may benefit from it.”