blink(1) The RGB LED USB Indicator Light – Silent, Not Deadly
Are you sick of those startling chat sound alerts and distracting message pop-ups when you are deep in your work? Once Blink, an RGB LED USB light, is released to the consumer market in a few months you will have a silent, less intrusive and customizable option. Essentially meant as an indicator light, Blink is going to be easily programmable, enabling users to customize and filter the unobtrusive alerts they want to receive as they work.
Blink’s simplicity is, perhaps, also the reason it’s pretty useful. Deconstructed, the product is just a USB connector with an LED light attached to it. It’s a design that works perfectly for its purpose. The Blink’s LED light is RGB, which means that it’s capable of producing just about any color you want for a specific alert.
Blink boasts cross-platform compatibility. It works plugged into any operating system because it doesn’t need drivers to run, only tools and applications (some already included in the Blink’s USB controller). Additionally for the computer programmers and tinkerers, the Blink USB light is hacker-friendly. If you happen to be familiar with the unit’s programming language (Arduino IDE), it’s possible to completely change the way Blink functions. According to developers, with the right programming, Blink can even be recognized by your computer as a USB keyboard and mouse. Now, how’s that for customization?
It is also designed to indicate by brightness and blinking patterns. Not only do you have a color, but light intensity and blinking frequency as well, each programmable based on how quickly you need to pay attention to it. Do you need to know how many tweets you’re getting? Are there any new emails in your inbox? Have all your files been backed up? Is your system starting to malfunction? There’s no need to scroll, type, or click when you want to find the answer, just check the Blink light!
There is, however, a limitation to this flexibility. Each Blink USB light is capable of handling only one type of system or status alert. Therefore, the number of alerts you can receive is directly related to the number of USB ports you have free. Those with only a few ports, unfortunately, have to settle with prioritizing alerts.
Blink is a Kickstarter project and comes with software that can work with Windows, Mac and Linux. ThingM, the makers, is hoping to get $29,000 in the next 30 days, and any investor can pledge $30 to get his or her hands on it, fingers-crossed, in the next few months to come.