Have you ever found yourself waiting for an important message from work, the hospital, or your spouse? If so, during that waiting period, have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t hear the audio on your computer? While it could be as simple as sitting in church or an office meeting, there are always places where you are asked to turn off the volume on your electronic devices. I know that, as someone who has traveled through one of America’s busy airline hubs, I have experienced the high level of noise associated with the terminal and found it impossible to find even a secluded corner in a restaurant where I could hear a ding from my computer system that signaled a message had arrived. At the time, there were no easy answers to this problem, but today, thanks to blink(1), there is an option that will monitor our computer activities — email messages arriving, friends on Skype, or other activities of our choosing — for us, thus eliminating the need to be concerned about disturbing others.
This new gadget, called blink(1), is a USB dongle that comes equipped with a glowing RGB LED at one end. The RGB LED portion of the USB illuminates different colors to indicate what type of message is being received. As with all USB cords, the little light simply plugs into a free USB port and is programmable to flash any color of the user’s choosing. It is also important to note that this gadget supports Windows, OS X, or Linux operating systems, which allows for its use by just about any office or home computer system.
The company admits that all of the kinks haven’t yet been worked out of its blink(1) port and states on its website that:
- blink(1) is hackable.
- The company is working on making the enclosure openable.
- Users who know Arduino or AVR programming can modify the gadget to do their bidding.
- Example hacks will be provided in the future.
However, the company also makes a point to note that the blink(1) can be used for:
- Notification when a time-consuming download has completed the transfer process.
- Notification when your friends are on Skype.
- Notification of weather conditions that may affect your travel plans.
- Knowing when a message is received from your Twitter account.
Upon weighing the pros and cons, I liked what the little gadget had to offer and I believe that blink(1) is worth the $25 donation price the company is seeking.
What do you think?