Thursday, November 27, 2014

Device News: 2 new BlinkStick products

Since a few days BlinkStick.com offers 2 new products: BlinkStick Square and BlinkStick Strip.
These products are basicly the same as the BlinkStick but with 8 LEDs.
Another difference to BlinkStick is, that the new devices come with a 4th mode (the modes 0,1,2 are already with BlinkStick, mode 3 is new). This new mode controls all 8 LEDs at once.

The new BlinkStick types will work with NotifierLight out of the box. Switch to WS2812 mode to control all LEDs. Because of performance purposes I'm thinking about an implementation of mode 3 in NL, too.


Product information BlinkStick Square:
https://www.blinkstick.com/products/blinkstick-square

Product information BlinkStick Strip:
https://www.blinkstick.com/products/blinkstick-strip

New BlinkStick forums:
https://forums.blinkstick.com/

Friday, November 7, 2014

Device Introduction: Kuando Busylight

Kuando Busylight is another professional device for your office. Besides Microsoft Lync it is compatible to many other phone applications like ESTOS ProCall, Swyx Softphone and so on.

The use cases are again: Don´t be interrupted while in a phone call or in a important task.

Busylight can glow or flash in very bright RGB colors. With the tape on it´s foot (180° turnable) it can be fixed on many surfaces, on top of your monitor, directly on your desk or your noise insulation wall.



A highlight is the internal memory chip with ringtones. Besides a red flash light on a incoming call for example, it can play a sound (not sure if the provided Busylight software supports this but it can be realized with the Busylight SDK anyway).

Busylight also offers a SDK for own applications. With this SDK you can control the light and also the sounds.
In NotifierLight we don´t use this SDK but communicating directly over HID.
NotifilerLights supports the RGB light for the Lync and the UC versions of Busylight. At the moment we haven´t planed to integrate a function for the ringtones.

http://www.busylight.com/


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Update: NotifierLight 1.2.1

Here comes a little update for NotifierLight. Version 1.2.1 is now available in the downloads.

ChangeLog:

  • Changed: The BlinkStick property CMYMode is now simply Mode. There are 3 modes: Normal, Inverse and WS2812. For more infos about the modes see: BlinkStick Pro Modes
  • Added: New general setting ConnectFirstDevice. It connects the first found "real" device (which is not ScreenBulb).
  • Added: Support for a new device: BlinkM from ThingM
  • Fixed: Blync offers 2 HID devices but only one is responsible for the light. NL now discovers only the light device of Blync.
  • Fixed: Minor bugs

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Device Introduction: BlinkM & Co.

Today we introduce another great product from ThingM: BlinkM

BlinkM and it´s little and big brothers MinM and MaxM are intelligent RGD LED devices. 
Intelligent simply means: BlinkM is not just a LED. It has a microcontroller and memory onboard. 
BlinkM can store many commands in it´s memory and run this commands even if not attached to a programming device (like LinkM or a Arduino board).

LinkM and stuff














The image shows the programmer LinkM, the LED devices BlinkM and BlinkM MinM and the IR devices CtrlM and FreeM. (only missing the very fat MaxM on the image; http://thingm.com/products/blinkm-maxm/)

FreeM is a power supply and IR receiver. You can attach any of the BlinkM devices to it. 
CtrlM is the IR transmitter. It can be connected to the LinkM and controls FreeM and it´s attached LEDs from afar. The little video below shows how it works:

video

BlinkM is not limited to control one LED. Put many BlinkMs in a row and build your own LED strips, a matrix or whatever. ThinkM used the base of it´s BlinkM products to create blink(1). The BlinkM products are electronic parts without enclosure, so they are ready to use them for your own projects.

The next version of NotifierLight can also control BlinkM attached to a LinkM. In the video above I controlled the LinkM/FreeM with NotifierLight.

http://thingm.com/products/blinkm/

Thursday, October 2, 2014

NotifierLight on blog.thingm.com

Tod from ThingM posted about NotifierLight.

http://blog.thingm.com/

ThingM is responsible for the great device blink(1).

Many thanks to the ThingM team for the great devices and the friendly help which makes the implementation of blink(1) (BlinkM comming soon) possible!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NotifierLight goes go

The knowledge we got while developing NotifierLight leads to another project. Florian, the biggest brain behind NotifierLight published a go package to control different LED devices.

It is still under construction but feel free to take a look at it and use it for your own projects.

https://github.com/boombuler/led

Saturday, September 27, 2014

NotifierLight Accessories

After the deployment of NotifierLight your workmates may be confused for the first time. What does all this glowing and blinking mean?
To help them out you can use the NotifierLight door hanger or display templates:

NL Door Hanger Template
NL Display Template














Download the .odt templates and adjust it to the light concept at your workplace. Print it, cut it off and/or fold it and place it where anybody can see.

Door Hanger
Display














Both templates are also part of the current NotifierLight installation.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Device Introduction: Blync

Blync is a well designed light cube for workplaces.
Use it as presence or alarm light directly connected with a Microsoft Lync Server.
Even if you don´t have a Lync: Set Busy, Do-Not-Disturb or other states manually.
A download to connect it to Skype is also available.







In the inner life we find 5 very bright LEDs. They enlighten the enclosure to a very good visibility even if you are farther from it.
Blync can glow in 7 colors, red, green, blue, yellow, purple, cyan and white.

To realize your own ideas use Blync SDK or a HID library.

In my eyes Blync should have more functions like controlling the 5 LEDs separately and using the full RGB frame of the LEDs but I love the design and the good illumination.

Since version 1.2 NotifierLight supports Blync. At the moment we have the issue that Blync always creates 2 USB devices but only one of it controls the light. It seems that Blync bases on iBuddy, also a LED gadget but with additional functions like moving parts.
We will fix the double device issue in the next version.

Update 26.09.2014: The guys from Blynclight working on a new firmware to activate full RGB colors for the device.

http://www.blynclight.com/

Monday, September 15, 2014

Documentation for PlugIn Development

Finally we have it online: The documentation for creating custom plugins for NotifierLight.

You´ll find it over the documentation navigator:
PlugIn Development

At the bottom of the documentation page you find a example plugin as a SharpDevelop project.

Let us know about your ideas or send us your PlugIn, maybe we integrate it as a default for further NotifierLight installations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Update: NotifierLight 1.2

NotifierLight has experienced a little redesign. The new version 1.2 is available in the download section. The version 1.1.4 can still be downloaded.

ChangeLog:

- Changed: GUI Redesign
- Changed: Depending on the plugin it can now be added more than once
- Changed: Internal: If a device don´t understand a set color, NL will find the closest fitting color.
- Changed: Pause is now Do Not Disturb. 
- Added: Define a hotkey for Do Not Disturb
- Added: Devices can now have additional properties
- Added: ScreenBulb property for a smaller bulb
- Added: CMY Mode for BlinkStick and BlinkStick Pro
- Added: New Lighttypes Ambilight, Candle and Alarm
- Added: Plugins: ODBC and EMail (Prototypes)
- Added: Support for a new device: Blync from Blynclight.com
- Added: Welcome Page with helpful links
- Added: Internal: Advanced Mode to activate special properties (will be added to the GUI later)
- Added: Change the EventQueue directly in the GUI
- Fixed: Busylights switched to off after a while
- Fixed: A few smaller bugs

We´ve also changed the information pages in the NL blog.
- New Older Screenshots section (in About NotifierLight)
- Changed EventQueue page
- Changed About NotifierLight page


Feel free to test the new functions. Please keep in mind that NotifierLight is still under construction. But we can say it is already very stable.

Please let us know what you think about the update or general NotifierLight functions.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ambilight Prototyping

Inspired by the Kickstarter Lightpack we're playing around with an ambient light function for NotifierLight.
An ambient light (Ambilight) is simply a backlight for your monitor which adopts the current (most dominant) color of the screen.
Backlights like this can show really cool effects, but it´s also good for eye protection (if you like to watch movies in a dark room :) )

Note: The ambilight effect is not part of the current version available for download. It´s only part of a test build at the moment.

Besides NotiferLight is all we need a BlinkStick Pro and the IKEA Dioder. A tutorial for connecting BlinkStick Pro and IKEA Dioder is available at the BlinkStick site.

My experiences about this:
- The Dioder have to be the one with the 4 fix LED strips, NOT that with one flexible strip! In the end it should also work with BlinkStick but the tutorial doesn´t fit to this product. The controller is different. (I combined the 4 strip controller with the flexible strip).
- I'm not sure if this is important, but the controller should be switched to off before starting with the modification.
- The resistors shown in the tutorial should be removed carefully (I recommend a scalpel or cutter knife).
- Don´t forget to attach the series resistors, delivered with BlinkStickPro!

Another function was necessary for NotiferLight. We need a CMY mode to inverse the light signal. Otherwise we will get only some "white" light or inversed colors.

It was a bit tricky to find the best way to take a screen capture and calculate the color (we´ve tried DirectX, too) but in the end we have a good performance.

Here we are with a first test:

video

The effect itself works with any other device (except the 8 color devices).

Friday, August 29, 2014

Device Introduction: blink(1)

ThingM stands for high experiences in electronics. I´ve already tested products like BlinkM, FreeM, LinkM, CtrlM. All theses products have to do with controlling RGB LEDs.
We come to details of these electronic parts somewhen else.
At first we focus the product blink(1).

blink(1) is simple: No programming, no electronic knowledge, very end-user friendly. Just plug it into your USB port and let it glow with Blink1Control. Let it blink on an incomming email, on different hardware monitor alerts or connect it with your IFTTT account.
blink(1) includes 2 LEDs, so you are able to show more than 1 different states at the same time. And another attribute makes it unique: It is really mini :)

Inside and Outside










The "naked" blink(1) shows: The biggest part of it is the USB connector. The case is very robust so the blink(1) stick is easy to handle.

If the function pool doesn't fit your needs: There are a lot of documentations and sources for C++, Java, Python and so on.

Update 16.09.2014: A hidden feature is to control a WS2812 compatible LED strip, ring or whatever. As you can see on the screenshot the "naked" blink(1) includes a connector with GND, +5 and data. It can control up to 16 additional LEDs. You can control any single LED, multiple LEDs with static colors, running effect, random colors etc. Very nice!

NotifierLight controls the 2 LEDs at once at the moment. We are planning to handle blink(1) as 2 devices to control the LEDs independent from each other.

http://blink1.thingm.com/

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hello, I'am the ScreenBulb ;-)

"May I introduce myself, I'am the ScreenBulb!
You don´t have any LED device to use with NotiferLight? Don´t be sad! I can glow on your screen" :).

Simply activate the ScreenBulb in the Devices by Doubleclick or the Connect Button.









The ScreenBulb device shows colors and lighttypes excactly like a hardware device do. It stays on top of your screen and can be moved around (hold left mouse button to move it).
Use it to test the events or for plugin development if you don´t have a hardware device close by. If you change to a hardware device ScreenBulb will disappear. I'm thinking about a feature to add more than one ScreenBulb devices. But it don´t have a high priority at the moment. 

Finally a little video with ScreenBulb in action :).

video

Monday, August 18, 2014

Update: NotifierLight 1.1.4

A new update (NL 1.1.4) is available at the download section.

ChangeLog:
- Fixed: ScreenBulb caused an exception
- Changed: ScreenBulb will be handled as a device now
- Changed: Moved the settings from NL root to User/AppData/Roaming
- Changed: New menu item in TNA context menu: Open Settings Path
- Changed: Made the use of plugins more save
- Changed: The EventQueue item now includes plugin name <pluginname>.<eventname>
- Changed: Plugin images will be resized to 48x48
- Changed: Switch directly between devices without jump to the general settings
- Added: Support for a new device: blink(1) from ThingM
- Minor tweaks and fixes

Coming soon:
- Plugin example source with comments
- A very first plugin API documentation
Update: We're working on a plugin redesign at the moment. Further informations after the redesign.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Device Introduction: BlinkStick

Agile Innovative offers 2 very nice products for home construction and development: The BlinkStick and the BlickStick Pro.

The BlinkStick is a simple USB device with a RGB LED and a ATTINY85. It comes without a box, so it can easily be attached to whatever you want. Put it in a salt crystal for example and create your own decorative mood light for your living room, controlled by PC. Or attach it to your monitors USB port and use it as notification device with NotifierLight.

BlinkStick











The BlinkStick Pro is like the Blinkstick, but without a LED. Use it to control LED strips or boards up to 196 LEDs (WS2812). Attach it to a IKEA Dioder or other LED strips. Create an ambient light (find tutorials at blinkstick.com) or control a LED matrix. My dream for NotifierLight is a database plugin. For example if a database query says that the volume of sales does not fit, the whole CEOs office glows red ;-D.

BlinkStick Pro controls1 LED











If you need a good product for prototyping BlinkStick (&Pro) is right for you. There are a lot of sources and turorials you can access for your project. And the best is: It can be used with NotifierLight! ;).

BlinkStick.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NotifierLight 1.1.3 uploaded

Finally a first version of NotifierLight is online. You find the installer (more files in the future) in the Download section.

Feel free to play around with it. If you don´t have a supported LED RGB device at the moment, activate the ScreenBulb in the general settings. I´ve integrated it as a device simulator. I hope you like it. :)

Theres no continuous documentation at the moment. I will post a few explanations step by step.
Before you start with NotifierLight please take a look at the info about the EventQueue in the Documentation area.

Please feel free to leave a comment about what you think of it.

Proudly presenting: NotifierLight 1.1

The time has come: After many hours, much brainstorming, heavy bug tracking and a lot of coffee (btw, I drink my coffee about #AA4004) NotifierLight is close to get it's first release. The installer is done and a first test phase was successful. Only a fix of a performance bug which I won´t let out to the world and a bit fine tuning have to be done.

To bridge the share of the first prototype release I´ve made a little presentation video. The quality is not the best but should give a little feeling of what NotiferLight will do now and in the future. Everything what you see here is real and not a fake ;-).

video


Here comes the same video in better quality, but it takes a while to download (32MB): NL.avi

The video shows a play around with the different devices, colors and lighttypes. Additional you can see how the events work. A very simple plugin includes the monitoring of system parameters. When the disk size underruns a given size, the event should be triggered.

Please feel free to comment :).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Comming soon...

OK, my first post on NotifierLight.blogspot.com. But it only should make a bit appetite for now. :)

NotifierLight will be a prototype version at first (means it is still under heavy development and I never can find every bug by myself). I´m still working on a simple installer and a presentation video. Also the download page is still missing.

To explain what NotifierLight excactly is, i´ve added the About NotifierLight page. Feel free to take a look around, especially on the screenshots.

Keep on glowing ;)