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$5,891 pledged of $47,000 goal
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By Makefast Workshop
$5,891 pledged of $47,000 goal
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Eecb9f2c6a922371c8faba465a2cd7f7 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About

LightNudge is a barometer, reimagined: a gorgeous, glanceable little tool that houses weather sensing technology in a form built to last for generations.

time-lapse of a savvy LightNudge user grabbing an umbrella on the way out the door
time-lapse of a savvy LightNudge user grabbing an umbrella on the way out the door

Barometers of yore (yes, yore!) helped sea captains circumvent storms and amateur meteorologists impress their dinner guests with mercury-filled tubes.

side-by-side comparison of a 19th-century brass and glass dial barometer (left) and LightNudge (right)
side-by-side comparison of a 19th-century brass and glass dial barometer (left) and LightNudge (right)

We aren't (professional) sailors, and we're not trying to wow anyone with quicksilver. We're travelers and inventors, and we know how good it feels to make the most of a day, whatever the weather holds.

Of course, detailed weather apps are ubiquitous by now, and we don't have much room in our life for virtual (or physical) clutter, so we wanted something as useful as it is attractive. A petite wood-and-marble box, illuminated with just a tap of the finger, yields a concise story of what's coming down the pike, barometrically speaking. Its spectrum of colors, dynamically calibrated to each user's geography, accurately recalls the past 24 hours' weather and foretells the next 6-12.

Feeling stuck on the couch? LightNudge can help you scamper out the door...or validate your current Netflix marathon. Either way, you'll use it to do better under pressure.

How LightNudge Works

A light-emitting barometer, it abstracts pressure values into a range of distinct colors representing the local barometric (and corresponding weather) forecast. As that forecast changes, the color of the light will reflect the latest prediction for the next 6-12 hours.

user experience overview: just tap and go!
user experience overview: just tap and go!

At any given time, LightNudge will be one of five colors: warmer (yellow and orange) indicates that higher pressure is expected, while cooler (blue and violet) means that lower pressure is likely. Because LightNudge learns and adjusts over time, there's no need for manual calibration.

LightNudge has a pleasing five-color range, from violet to orange
LightNudge has a pleasing five-color range, from violet to orange

Making Meaning

You're safe for now, meteorologists. LightNudge isn't a replacement for detailed weather predictions, which take into account dozens of parameters across thousands of locales.

Instead, LightNudge provides an immediate, glanceable indication of the upcoming barometric pressure (and its associated sunny/fair/rainy weather). There are no apps to open, internet connections to configure, or batteries to worry about replacing.

LightNudge is elegant enough to sit unobtrusively in any room
LightNudge is elegant enough to sit unobtrusively in any room

From the moment you plug LightNudge in, it'll get to work analyzing the pressure history for your current location and making sense of which ranges are present. As it learns about your weather over time, the prediction accuracy - and in turn, its usefulness - only grows. Moving to a new city? You can simply unplug LightNudge and take it along: it'll earn its keep there, too.

farmer's market haul, LightNudge, stand mixer
farmer's market haul, LightNudge, stand mixer

Weather means different things to different people, so there's no hard-and-fast rule for how to use LightNudge. Some studies have shown that during periods of higher barometric pressure (when LightNudge would be yellow or orange), people feel happiest by getting outside for at least 30 minutes. And conversely, embracing indoor activities during periods of lower pressure (blue or violet) may keep us in higher spirits, since clouds and rain are likely approaching then.

You can adjust the brightness of LightNudge with a light...nudge, so it sits comfortably even in spaces that remain relatively dark. Just press and hold the touch point to use it as a softly glowing accent or nightlight.

bedtime stories, (night)LightNudge, Patty Rabbit
bedtime stories, (night)LightNudge, Patty Rabbit

The Design Process

At Makefast Workshop, we explore ideas by building iterative prototypes with our hands to see how products might actually look, feel, and function. LightNudge is the result of dozens of mock-ups, test runs, and experiments, not to mention countless code updates and circuit modifications.

Here are a few snapshots of how LightNudge came to be what it is today, from the humble, early breadboard days to its current hardwood-and-marble design: 

Early prototypes of LightNudge.
Early prototypes of LightNudge.

 

Milled wooden base prototypes for LightNudge using different wood types.
Milled wooden base prototypes for LightNudge using different wood types.

 

Various pre-production prototypes to test feasibility, fit, and finish.
Various pre-production prototypes to test feasibility, fit, and finish.

Under the hood, LightNudge uses a prediction algorithm we created by leveraging detailed historical weather data from a broad range of regions and climates around the world. This Big Data approach enabled us to tune LightNudge so that you can plug it in anywhere and have it learn from the pressure variations and patterns it observes locally to output the best forecast.

The algorithm-tuning interface we built especially for LightNudge looks like this:

Simulation and modeling to test/verify device behavior over a range of geographic locations and weather patterns.
Simulation and modeling to test/verify device behavior over a range of geographic locations and weather patterns.

Producing LightNudge

Our hands-on approach, from design through fulfillment, means we'll have direct control over nearly all aspects of production. We'll be cutting, drilling, sanding, fitting, polishing, testing, and packaging LightNudge in our workshop.

And while that means we have a lot of work to do ourselves, it also means that we won't be waiting for months on a third party to machine wooden parts or perform manual assembly for us. This allows us to ship units as quickly as we produce them and get LightNudge into the hands of backers faster than other crowdfunding design projects typically would.

There are bound to be a few unexpected speed bumps along the way, but we'll be in the driver's seat, keeping production moving forward at a steady clip.

Technical Specifications

Materials: Solid hardwood base (locally sourced oak, cherry, maple, or walnut). White Carrara marble illuminated surface. Brass touch point.

User Interaction: Capacitive touch. Tap to change brightness. Double tap to replay pressure history from previous 24 hours. Press and hold to change modes (color-changing barometer or white accent light).

Power: 5 Volts DC via 2.1mm barrel connector (center positive).

Pressure Resolution: 0.1hPa, measured once per minute with 4x oversampling

Brightness: 3 levels (High, Medium, Low) and Off

Light source: 4 x RGBW LEDs

Dimensions: 8.0cm wide x 5.9cm tall x 10.4cm deep

Weight: ~240g (varies by wood type)

Pre-production functional prototype of solid walnut LightNudge.
Pre-production functional prototype of solid walnut LightNudge.

The People Behind LightNudge

LightNudge is designed, built, and hand-finished by Maura Atwater and Adam Kumpf, partners at Makefast Workshop in Delaware, Ohio. The workshop is focused on designing and creating products that are meaningful, engaging, and built to last a lifetime. 

You can read more about Maura and Adam on the Makefast Workshop website.

Thank You

We'll need your support to make producing LightNudge possible. 

Our sincere thanks to everyone who's contributed thus far.

 

Risks and challenges

We build things fast and frequently. We're not worried about the process.

That said, production-scale fabrication and fulfillment of LightNudge will alter our quantities, timing, and protocol to some degree, which may lead to longer lead times for certain orders (specialty wood options, etc.).

Because we've prioritized lean and local operations, there is always a risk of falling briefly behind, but it's one we're willing to take in order to deliver the best possible product from our hands to yours.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

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    Backstage Pass

    See all exclusive updates and add your name to the list of backers who help make LightNudge possible.

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    LightNudge Hacker Board

    Do you understand electronics and want to experiment with LightNudge on a budget? Get just the circuit board, pre-programmed and ready to put into your own projects. Connect 5V DC and a wire for touch interaction and you'll be up and running! Free shipping to USA.

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    Oak LightNudge

    Get a LightNudge. Solid oak wood base and white marble top. Free shipping to USA. Projected retail price $129.

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    Cherry LightNudge

    Get a LightNudge. Solid cherry wood base and white marble top. Free shipping to USA. Projected retail price $139.

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    Maple LightNudge

    Get a LightNudge. Solid maple wood base and white marble top. Free shipping to USA. Projected retail price $139.

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    • LightNudge (Solid Maple and White Marble)
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    Walnut LightNudge

    Get a LightNudge. Solid walnut wood base and white marble top. Free shipping to USA. Projected retail price $149.

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    2-Pack Barometer Bundle

    Get a pair of LightNudges (2 of any type of wood). Shipped together, but individually boxed. Free shipping to USA.

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    8-Pack Boutique Bundle

    Get 8 total LightNudges (2 of each type of wood). Shipped together, but individually boxed. Free shipping to USA.

    Includes:
    • LightNudge (Solid Maple and White Marble)
    • LightNudge (Solid Cherry and White Marble)
    • LightNudge (Solid Oak and White Marble)
    • LightNudge (Solid Walnut and White Marble)
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Funding period

- (30 days)