As previously reported in Bits & Pieces, designer Richard Clarkson has created Cloud, an interactive lamp and speaker system out of an Atmel powered Arduino, fluffy cotton and cloth cord. According to the designer, the Cloud acts as both a semi-immersive lightning experience — or as a speaker with visual feedback — to mimic a thunderstorm in both appearance and entertainment.
“On one hand, ‘Cloud’ is an Arduino-controlled, motion-triggered lightning and thunder performance,” Clarkson explains. “On the other, it is a music-activated visualizer and suspended speaker unit. Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of smartobjects, which are gaining more and more traction in the design world.”
According to Sammy Medina of FastCoDesign, the lamp consists of three parts. The outer fluff is fastened to a styrofoam core that’s embedded with the Arduino, LED lights, a motion detector and other electrical inputs.
“When prompted, the Arduino signals the 16-watt LED bulbs buried deep within the cloud’s folds to flash, while also tapping a 2.1 subwoofer to emit pre-recorded thunder sounds,” writes Medina.
Gizmag notes that Cloud will cost you $3,360 for the smart version, while the lamp version sells for just under $1,000. The more elaborate, ‘smarter’ model includes a wireless remote control unit, color-changing lights, 2.1 speakers (two speakers plus a subwoofer), and motion detection, while the latter features a Philips LED dimmable bulb. For an extra $240, you can get a satellite add-on, which is a small cloud designed to create a more realistic sky scene for your main Cloud.
“The effects converge in a virtual lightning storm that bubbles more furiously when you approach the lamp or, conversely, wanes the more distance you put between it and yourself. A control reproduces the same effects from afar, sending up a spidery streak of blue lighting on the side of the cloud with the flick of a switch.”
You can read more about Clarkson’s Cloud Lamp here.