Tag Archives: moodLight

moodLight is a smart box that displays real-time emotion

moodLight is a Wi-Fi-connected desk lamp that illustrates the mood of the online world with beautiful twists of color.

It’s safe to say that social media has not only revolutionized the journalistic landscape, but the way in which we gather news, events, gossip and other share-worthy content. However, wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually see how the world responded to such information? That is exactly what Connor Nishijima set out to accomplish with moodLight — a three-inch tall, USB-powered smart lamp that beautifully shines a spectrum of colors based on the emotion of Twitter users.


To bring this to reality, the Maker collates a sampling of experimental social data from all over the globe and displays that deep connection in the form of nine LEDs. The gadget works by sifting through millions of tweets each day and checking them for several dozen keywords tied to one of six emotions: love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness and fear. These emotions are graphed in real-time, placed on a server, downloaded by the moodLight and then translated into colors that are shown in the form of RGB LEDs inside a laser-cut box.

“For example, ‘I am so proud of my son for getting his degree! I’m going to miss him at home,’” Nishijima explains. “This tweet contains the word ‘proud’ (Joy > Pride > ‘proud’) and the phrase ‘miss him’ (Sadness > Loss > ‘miss him/her/you/them’) making it a bittersweet tweet of both joy and sadness. These emotions would result in a twist of goldenrod and cyan in your lamp.”


The system keeps a weighted moving average of each emotion’s tweet count per minute and uses this to build a sort of baseline average for each feeling. From there, it compares the most recent minute’s data to the average to deliver a percentage value.

In terms of hardware, moodLight is equipped with an ATmega328P at its core along with WS2812B LEDs and an ESP8266 Wi-Fi module that the lamp uses to make GET requests to the moodLighting website every second. While the VPS backend running the service consumes many gigabytes of data per day, it shrinks this content down into 25-byte summaries that the lamp consumes in one-second intervals. Impressively, this amounts to only 2.16MB of data consumed daily — which ends up being smaller than the size of an MP3.

The tabletop lamp can also be integrated with IFTTT, thereby opening up endless possibilities from serving as a basic notification portal to turning on a WeMo bulb or dialing your Nest thermostat to different temperatures based on a particular social media status update. For instance, you can define various combinations of colors for various alerts: flash red twice for an incoming email, blink brown and fade to blue for a UPS package delivery, or emit green if a Fitbit goal is achieved.


What’s more, each moodLight is controllable over UDP packets, making it easy to set your own color combinations. By sending packets very similar to the mood summaries above, you can change the hue of one or more of the nine pixels, set a global brightness level, put the lamp to sleep or wake it up, or stream color data at 30+ FPS, to name just a few. As its creators note, this essentially gives you the functionality of a Philips Hue or LiFX smart bulb.

Looking for new way to stay connected with news? Head over to the moodLight’s Kickstarter campaign, where Nishijima has blown past his $935 goal. Delivery is slated for early next year.

23 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week

Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 



This robotic arm is a complete fabrication system that enables Makers to do everything from print to plot. Makerarm is currently seeking $349,750 on Kickstarter.



This wearable tracks and translates tail wagging so that you can better understand your dog. DogStar Life is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.



This smart bracelet fuses art, fashion and technology by displaying custom images, slideshows, app notifications and other information. LOOKSEE LABS has already well surpassed its $70,000 goal on Kickstarter.



This intelligent car system evaluates driving behavior and shares how to drive in a more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient manner. Ascora GmbH is currently seeking $146,299 on Kickstarter.



This universal accessory turns your smartphone into a head-up display for your car. HUDWAY is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.



This small USB-powered lamp beautifully emits a twirl of color based on the emotions of Twitter users. Connor Nishijima has surpassed his goal of $935 on Kickstarter.



This smart toy for kids is designed to be hit, smashed, kicked, and tossed. Jabber’s World is currently seeking $45,000 on Kickstarter.



This door system combines a traditional deadbolt, Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi and the cloud to seamlessly make access to your home simple for you and your guests. Random Wire Technologies is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.



This smart cup measures your water intake, tracks your coffee consumption and reminds you to hydrate. Groking Lab is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

Lapa 2


This Bluetooth tracker helps you stay connected with your things, all from its accompanying app. Lapa Studio has nearly tripled its Indiegogo goal of $35,000.



This attachable sensor transforms anything into a musical instrument, giving you an entire world of new creative possibilities. Mogees has already reached its Kickstarter goal of $30,325.

Eleven 3D Printer


This affordable, open source 3D printer features a big build area to create even bigger ideas. ISG3D is currently seeking $8,402 on Kickstarter.



This wireless charger declutters your house and helps you remain organized. WallJax is currently seeking $125,000 on Indiegogo.



This smart microhabitat lets you grow vegetables and plants, as well as make a rainforest-style home for your pets. Jared Wolfe is just shy of tripling his $22,000 Kickstarter goal.



This connected pills dispenser ensures that the right person takes the right dosage at the right time. Indie Designers is currently seeking $55,000 on Kickstarter.



This sensor-laden wearable device provides accurate, real-time feedback as you work out. Ollinlift is currently seeking $45,617 on Kickstarter.



This portable, space-shifting solution allows you to enjoy the access rights of your home or office network, irrespective of your physical location. AlwaysHome is currently seeking $40,000 on Kickstarter.



This Wi-Fi-enabled container accurately keeps track of daily medication and supplement intake, then sends customized reminders or voice messages according to your schedule. Xiaohe Intelligent Technology is currently seeking $20,000 on Kickstarter.



This wearable gadget gives mothers-to-be the ability to monitor their babies’ heart rate and movement 24/7. ExtantFuture  is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Plug & Plant


This wall-mounted smart pod system not only organizes your indoor plants, but collects environmental data and suggests tips for optimal growth. Team Plug & Plant is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.



This all-in-one machine for Makers can 3D print, laser cut, engrave and scan. Northype is currently seeking $112,405 on Kickstarter.

EVI InWall


This board installs behind your existing switches and outlets to make them smart and controllable from your smartphone. Mark Snyder is currently seeking $80,000 on Kickstarter.

The BuzzClip


This small, discreet wearable device helps the blind or visually impaired to detect and safely navigate around objects in their path. iMerciv is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here. Also, if your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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