Holiday by MooresCloud: Smart, Connected Light
February 24, 2014 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Holiday by MooresCloud: Smart, Connected Light
Holiday is the brainchild of Mark Pesce, co-inventor of VRML and panellist on the (sadly discontinued) ABC TV show The New Inventors. Designed in Australia, Holiday is a product in the burgeoning Internet of Things arena: a string of 50 coloured LED lights connected to an ARM based controller (similar to the Raspberry Pi), and comes after a failed Kickstarter raised 'only' $275,000 for the original Light on which Holiday is based.

Holiday is a string of 50 multi-coloured LED lights, each individually addressable, connected to a WiFi connected controller with an ARM chip, running the Internet of Things Access Server (Arch Linux with some custom software). Holiday can be controlled from your smartphone or browser, and has a published API for you to write your own programs to control the lights.

Unlike the Philips Hue (previously) or Tabu Lumen, Holiday can be moved around or wrapped around things, or even taken mobile if you're willing to hack up a battery pack.

After the initial failed Kickstarter raised 'only' $275,000, the project was funded privately (I'm one of the investors, and recently joined the board). The product was changed from the Light, a static desk lamp (albeit programmable) into a string of lights with the same controller as the Light, but in a new enclosure designed by Tiller Design of Sydney, Australia, with buttons to change the light patterns. The first customers got their hands on devices just in time for Christmas 2013.

Customers have already started hacking with their Holidays. Garth Kidd wrote a Node.js library to talk to the UDP API, Dougal Scott built a Nagios status display and @sylmobile wrote an LED text scroller display.

Tasmanian app developers Secret Lab built the first commercial app for Holiday, Visualiser, which makes a Holiday flash its lights in time to music playing on your iPhone. Secret Lab have been quite public in their support for the National Broadband Network, which allows them to continue to operate in the relatively remote Tasmania.

My own humble efforts include a musical frequency spectrum display, a beaded-curtain low-resolution display screen (and a simulator using PyGame until I can get some more units), and a basic throbber.

Pesce has blogged about the experience along the way, which gives some insight into what building a hardware product, and an actual company, is really like.

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