About this project
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kickstarter, click the play button on that video above to see and hear about our project. When you are done, you can look at a few more details below, and feel free to ask us questions.
We hope you will support our project, mostly because we like what we've created, and we really think you will to. You need a bunch of these around the home and office!
The USB PlasmaTrim is a 12-inch linear array of 8 controllable RGB LEDs in a rigid aluminum housing with plastic lens and end cap. Each unit can be controlled in real-time, plugged into a USB port, or programmed, then powered with an AC or car adapter to use when not attached to a computer.
What is it for?
These are great for adding a splash of color to your home or office. Put PlasmaTrim behind a monitor, keyboard, TV, inside your computer, under your cabinets, or pretty much anywhere! Connect to a computer to use it in real-time or to program with our included software. Upload the look you'd like, with smooth blends of color or more exciting effects. We will also provide our Open API so you can talk to the PlasmaTrim from your own software.
How do I power it?
Running on USB or equivalent power from a cell phone charger, AC adapter, or DC car adapter means the PlasmaTrim can be placed pretty much anywhere that a bit of color would look good. Put it under your desk, behind your coffee maker, in your PC, behind your fish tank (but not in your fish tank), light a server rack, toss a couple under the dash of your car, or maybe you just want a colorful night light for the hallway.
Does it exist? (aka... Will I really get one?)
Yes! If you have sponsored our project in one of the levels that offers such a reward and we reach our funding goal, you will get it!
We have played around with the prototypes for a while, but decided to add a few more LEDs and overcome several manufacturing challenges. The new extruded aluminum housing has allowed us to create a very sexy looking product while making the production process much easier than our initial design.
This means that we are ready to go! This is not a project that has a nebulous end, we simply need to start manufacturing and shipping a bunch of this sexy new product in a big batch to get going. Here are some details:
The USB PlasmaTrim is capable of about 75 lumens of output, making it brighter than many 12-inch architectural LED lighting fixtures! Unlike other LED products, our high-speed modulation means no annoying flicker.
Pimp your ride! Power the PlasmaTrim with a USB car adapter.
Easy to use:
Use the provided GUI to create your own color blends and chases. To program your own sequences, you simply define the color of each of the 8 RGB LEDs, how long to hold at each look, and how long the fade to the next one will be. You can then upload the patterns for stand-alone use when not connected to the computer.
You can also define overall brightness to dial back the brilliance of the USB PlasmaTrim. This feature is also great for when you use them as a display with the intention of looking straight at them.
The USB PlasmaTrim is only 0.5" wide, 12" long and 0.28" tall, allowing it to fit practically anywhere. It has a flat bottom so it can be easily attached with double-sided tape or other fastener.
Being able to send data straight to the PlasmaTrim from your own software is a huge advantage! Our open API lets you write your own software from the language of your choice and take control of the device from your own project. With a little code and some programming skills, perhaps you might write a plug-in that tells the USB PlasmaTrim to flash when you have an email, or act as the alert status of a timer, display WiFi signal strength, or maybe even monitor file transfers as a more interesting progress bar.
Use multiple PlasmaTrims and a little code to make arrays of controllable pixels come to life in a dazzling display of light.
We'll be providing the specification and some software examples. There's no telling what you could make this do! There are a near-limitless range of uses for the USB PlasmaTrim when coupled with a good programmer or creative user. We don't lock you in to one language or a limited amount of control. You can even output directly to the LEDs in real-time without uploading a program to the units.
Put together some wall art with a 10-pack of PlasmaTrims!
A Couple of Guys Innovating:
This project is being developed by Matt Polak and Chuck Rau. They have each had a fascination with LED lighting and control, and bring decades of electronics knowledge and experience to the project. These two have spent many a late night in the dark, creating some of the finest LED solutions for planetariums as well as custom entertainment solutions for use in theme parks and stage productions. The USB PlasmaTrim is just one of many innovations these two have developed, and it won't be the last! The Photon Factory will eventually serve as the outlet for many great innovations and LED projects.
Whether you have pledged yet or not, we are glad you are looking at our project. We need your help to spread the word and get this first batch whipped up and out the door. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, get the word out and take a moment to visualize the awesome splendor of bright, glowing LED awesomeness that you helped support.
Funding provided for this project will primarily be used for:
- Purchase of Parts: Buying parts in bulk drastically reduces the cost.
- Engineering, Tooling, and Fabrication of custom components.
- Additional Software Development: Update to include latest features, add Mac and Linux compatibility, Document and release the Open API.
Funding on Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" arrangement, so we only get the money to start production if we reach our funding goal. If we don't reach our goal you are not charged for your pledge. Please consider helping us reach and exceed our funding goal, and together we can do amazing things.
If funding is successful: We will immediately order the parts and begin production of the USB PlasmaTrim, and start shipping them to our new favorite people: Our Beloved Sponsors. This product is fully designed and ready to go!
If funding is not reached: We will be a bit shocked, because these things really are awesome! Once our eyes seat firmly back in their sockets, we will make a sad face, then question life, the universe, etc... and move onto other projects.
We do hope that you find our project exciting and interesting, and that you will support our first Kickstarter project. Please ask questions if you have any, and look around at our various rewards to find some great deals. Be sure to check for updates!
Please spread the word, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your friends' family, and together we can make it happen!
Matt Polak, Design Ninjaneer
Here are some more potential uses:
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