About this project:
Firefly Communicator is a brand new device – the first of its kind – allowing people to emulate the light patterns of fireflies, attracting them with the press of a single button. Firefly Communicator’s simple yet elegant design has been streamlined for ease of use and can be programmed (using the cutting-edge SpeakFirefly app) to display known, existing firefly patterns or even those that have yet to be discovered – the number of possible patterns is limitless. With Firefly Communicator, the potential for discovery and the opportunity to contribute to science is at your fingertips.
Fireflies are ambassadors for interest in the biological sciences. For many children around the world, catching fireflies is part of growing up. This first moment of observation is precious.
For many of us, it’s one of the first times we can appreciate another creature on our planet who is so much different than us. Who are these creatures and why they are out flashing on summer evenings? Fireflies ignite this spark of appreciation and curiosity in us. This is the seed of scientific inquiry.
Yet fewer and fewer people are getting outside to interact with nature. The emotional experiences that once provided delight and wonder have been replaced and compassion for the natural world has been diminished. The Firefly Communicator combats Nature Deficit Disorder by introducing people back into the adventure and wondrous world of fireflies.
Fireflies can be found all around the world, on every continent except Antarctica, from sprawling urban cities to tropical rainforests and over 2000 species of these beautifully efficient creatures currently exist.
But their overall population numbers are declining, and without proper education and appreciation, they may soon be gone for good. By increasing awareness with Firefly Communicator, we hope to have others join us in an environmental movement. Who wants a world without fireflies? Not us.
The Firefly Communicator is supported by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, promoting worldwide understanding of the importance of biodiversity and environmental conservation. You can learn more about E.O. Wilson here.
Did You Know?
- Fireflies evolved signaling to both identify mates of their own species, but also to warn predators of their awful taste?
- Firefly larvae eat soft bodied invertebrates like slugs and snails! Friends of gardeners!
How it works:
Most fireflies communicate with each other using their light. Each species that flashes, emits a specific pattern or flash code, with males and females emitting different patterns even within the same species. Firefly Communicator allows us all to join the conversation, by emulating these light patterns and attracting fireflies!
Firefly Communicator’s built-in two primary LEDs are able to produce customizable light intensities and patterns based on the fireflies you’re communicating with. The wavelength for each LED peaks in ranges that all fireflies see well and have been tested by scientists in the field.
In order to record a new pattern, place Firefly Communicator on your screen (cellphone or computer) and then press the Code button. The pattern you’ve input at SpeakFirefly.com or by using the SpeakFirefly app will be instantly stored to your device for easy playback.
Once programmed, a single press of the same Code button is all that’s necessary to play back your newly programmed pattern!
This is a great way to try to experiment and decode the species that are around you. You can press the Freeform button to create your own pattern. Press the button once for a short burst of light or hold the button for longer to emit a sustained glow.
Remember, there are many species of fireflies whose light patterns have not yet been decoded. By creating and trying custom patterns, keen observers will be able to identify, log, and share new discoveries at SpeakFirefly.com, on Facebook (Facebook.com/SpeakFirefly), on Twitter (@SpeakFirefly), or on Instagram (SpeakFirefly).
Risks and challenges
We have built a working prototype of the Firefly Communicator (and it’s awesome). Now we need your support to allow us to complete the product and packaging designs and bring the prototype into production… into the real world!
Funds raised will be used to finalize and order packaging, place the large volume of initial units, and further develop Firefly Communicator app functionality.
We are hoping to have product in-hand and ready for delivery by some time in June. Fireflies are most active during the summer, so we want to be able to provide you the longest and best experience possible with Firefly Communicator by meeting an early summer delivery date. We will provide updates during the process, so check back with us on Kickstarter during the campaign to hear the latest!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)