Jul 4, 2012
Looking through KickStarter today I saw a project that totally reaffirmed my appreciation for the creativity and originality of everything the internet and start-ups have to offer. Large companies generally target their products for one specific use and either because of a lack of or stifling of creativity these products rarely serve multiple, diverse functions. As I mentioned before with my look at the Portable Scoreboard, giving a product as many different and diverse uses is nothing but a good thing. Especially if that product is open to full user customization which is something that the corporate world treats like the Plague. Allowing internet users to come up with uses for a product is a no-brainer as it takes the creative forces of millions of people and puts them to work on this product; merely give them the tools in an attractive package and sit back.
This has reached, as far as I am concerned, its apex with L8 SmartLight, an 8×8 RGB LED grid that offers a mind boggling amount of possibilities with a bevy of internal sensors as well as an open SDK. The front face is a 8×8 grid of square lights each consisting of a large RBG LED lights as well as a very powerful super LED on the back. This allows the L8 to give off two different colors of light which makes for stunning, dynamic ambiance lighting. But that is only the tip of the iceberg, because the device is Bluetooth capable and programmable from a computer or smartphone it can do almost anything thanks to an ‘if-this-then-that’ set up. This means that the SmartLight can display Facebook notifications, text messages, phone calls, email alerts, GPS turn by turn directions and much more with its extremely portable and powerful super bright LEDs. The SmartLight also includes temperature, proximity, and luminosity sensors which means that it can double as a night light, display the temperature, and adjust to changing room conditions. Two sample situations on the project’s KickStarter page are making the ambiance lighting on a balcony or porch reflect the temperature outside, and having the L8 display current weather conditions and traffic updates as soon as it senses the user arise from bed or enter the bathroom in the morning.
The incredible amount of uses for this device are what really make it one of the best KickStarter projects I have seen. In the morning it can be used to display weather and traffic, then at work it’ll silently alert for incoming emails and back at home for incoming calls and texts, and finally later at night if company comes over for some dynamic mood lighting. The starting pledge to receive a L8 SmartLight is $69 and while it initially seemed steep; the more I thought about it the more I realized how good of a deal it was taking into account how simple this device is to program and use. I recommend immediately taking to KickStarter and making sure this project gets to market as soon as possible.