Hive Systems is an interesting Dutch startup that is building software for simulating and controlling networks of interactive devices. I met their team after I presented at the GlowNext Symposium in Eindhoven (November 2013). Quoting their site:
HiveKit is a set of tools for designing, simulating, prototyping and deploying complex behaviors for networks of interactive devices. It offers designers an intuitive graphical interface, which allows them to use cutting-edge algorithms without requiring cutting-edge programming skills. It also shortens the development time from weeks to hours and allows creation of systems that work without complicated and expensive infrastructure.
Various kinds of devices can act as the metaphorical “bees” programmed by HiveKit. Each such “bee”, also called a “node” in a HiveKit network, can be allowed to “look” at its surroundings using “sensors”, for example sensing distance to the nearest object, level of light or touch of a person. It can also act on the world around it using “actuators”, for example by creating light, movement or sound. Nodes like this can be easily created with supported Arduino Due microcontrollers, which act as “brains” of your devices. Various kinds of sensors and actuators can be purchased from hobby shops and attached to your nodes. Hive System can also provide on-demand support for specialized hardware.
For those of you who heard my “Next Evolution of Lighting” presentation, you will find many of Hive’s concepts as excellent examples of the connective links I suggested are needed in the lighting industry. In particular, Hive is connecting their interactive control system to the Grasshopper parametric modeling plug-in for Rhino. Crazy stuff!