At our first global synchronous hackathon, we met artist and electronics aficionado, Alpay Kasal, who with Alpha One Labs founding member psytek, conceived of the idea of an interactive Christmas tree with ornaments that react to mentions of specific keywords on Twitter. The idea spawned from Alpay’s previous installation for GE Healthcare. After many hours of hard work and material shopping, Alpay found some golf display cases at The Container Store to house the 12 mil LED lights which blink when a designated word is tweeted. You can view the tree in person by visiting Alpha One Labs in Brooklyn or online, broadcasting live through ustream.
A netbook running Processing with the Twitter4J lib is used for performing searches of predetermined holiday words (listed below) while generating and smartly managing a queue of ornament blinks. Our in house microcontroller master, Robert, RDM654 contributed his uln2803a chips which helped with the refactoring of brigher incandesant bulbs. We’ll also be using 75HCT595sr shift registers for further refinement and efficiency.
Twitter search terms include: Christmas, Xmas, Santa, mistletoe, hackerspace, alphaonelabs, hack, opensource, snow, season, merry, peace, cheer, consumerism, joy, presents, greetings, arduino, jingle bells, happy new year, 2010, 2009, reprap, Brooklyn
Check out Alpay’s video displaying the tree in all of its glory:
If you’re around for our New Years Eve party you’ll be able to interact with the tree in person!hits:13331