Jan 242008

With BlinkMs available for purchase soon, I figured it would be neat to show what a large collection of them can do. BlinkMs were created from my desire to have a “smart LED” that did its own tri-color PWM. I didn’t want to build a real-time system to control the PWM of several hundred RGB LEDs. And existing LED controllers didn’t meet my needs. I wanted something that knew a bit about color and color patterns and could be networked together into clusters. Thus BlinkM. A single BlinkM is fun, but the real utility is seen when you have several of them on the same I2C network.

Below are two movies of the lighting system in WineM, our smart RFID winerack. Each place a bottle goes contains a essentially BlinkM and RFID reader controlled via an I2C master.

WineM prototype at NextFest

This video shows WineM in use. A handheld web device allows one to select and display different facets of the wine collection. In the video, first all wines are shown, colored by varietal, then Cabernet wines are selected. Within the Cabernets, color them by year. Select 2002 as the year and only the 2002 Cabernets are shown. Then color those by price. Finally, select the 2002 cabernets that are between $20-$30. You’re left with the perfect wine for tonight’s meal. Also shown is the visual indication when bottles are added or removed.

WineM prototype light tests

This is just a light show using the WineM lights. It was taken right after I had assembled and installed everything in the rack. Apologies for the exposure fluctuations.

For a bit more detail on the WineM prototype hardware, see this post.

 Posted by at 11:12 pm

  7 Responses to “WineM lights, a BlinkM predecessor”

  1. Hi Jenni,
    WineM was only ever a prototype. It never went into production, so we never fully explored how to solve the refrigerated cabinet. We were talking with cabinet makers on ways to retrofit WineM capability into their cabinets.

  2. I want, I want, where can I get the WineM? The only thing missing is to have this in a refrigerated cabinet. However if the light is on the bottle itself, it could work with the cooler I have, correct?

  3. Hi Ross,
    You got it. Well, almost. WineM came before BlinkM, and I designed a custom wine-sized LED board for WineM. It contains the same guts as a BlinkM, but has four RGB LEDs instead of just the one.

  4. I was wondering if each of the slots were colored by only one of the BlinkMs?

  5. I *seriously* doubt that anything malicious has happened here. Tod’s reputation is very very good, and with good reason.

  6. Hi Matt,
    When did you order the BlinkMs and from which distributor? They should offer you a refund for out-of-stock items. We’re not set up to sell BlinkMs direct to consumers, so we don’t. Most of our BlinkMs were sold through Sparkfun, and they’re very responsive. We were caught off-guard by the popularity of BlinkMs and are hurrying to get the next batch ready. We hope to have them in our distributor’s hands by end of April. Let me know if you need help talking with the distributor you purchased the BlinkMs from.

  7. I ordered four BlinkMs and haven’t seen SQUAT!!!

    Just another RIP OFF company (take your money and evaporate

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