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blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet.
blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet.
blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet.
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2,655 backers pledged $132,317 to help bring this project to life.

Shipping updates! Start hacking! Raspberry Pi, WiFi Routers, and more!

In this update:

  • Shipping updates
  • Time to start hacking
  • Raspberry Pi with blink(1)
  • WiFi Routers and blink(1)
  • Linux & HIDRAW
  • Mac & Windows apps and IFTTT

Shipping updates

Thanks to Ben, Keri, Preston, Ann, Abe, and Carlyn, we had a few more epic blink(1) assembly parties and have shipped a total of 4800 blink(1)s to our fulfillment house. 

Due to a miscommunication on our end about the shipping packaging requirements needed, our fulfillment house only started mailing out blink(1)s this Monday (Dec 3rd). They now report that they've mailed out over 2000 separate mailings, which is almost all of our backers. 

The blink(1)s are being mailed out USPS First Class mail in double-padded mailers with insurance and delivery confirmation. Unfortunately, the fulfillment house's systems don't send an email for mass-delivery. I'm trying to get a CSV data dump of your order numbers and label/tracking numbers so I can write a script to send you that info. 

For domestic orders, we expect everyone should have their blink(1)s by next week. For international orders, the week after that.

The blink(1) army is coming!

Time to start hacking

The official GitHub repository of all things blink(1) is located here:

There you will find example code and libraries for C/C++/Objective-C, Java, Processing, .NET, and command-line tools for use in scripting languages like Perl, PHP, Python, and shell.  And check out the Github Wiki for info too:

If you want to try your hand at alternate enclosures, the Thingiverse entry with the 3d files for the enclosure are at:

If you make a cool hack with blink(1), let us know!  While we work on the main blink(1) site, we would love to feature cool things you've done with blink(1).

Raspberry Pi with blink(1)

Some have asked if blink(1)s are ready-to-go with the Raspberry Pi. The command-line application "blink1-tool" compiles easily on Raspberry Pi (and we provide a pre-compiled version too). You can use it in your scripts like any other program.

Here's an example of a blink(1) on a Raspberry Pi with a WiFi USB dongle. Instant wireless notification device!

This particular Pi + blink(1) setup is running a script to turn blink(1) purple whenever someone remotely logs into it.  See a variant of that script here:

WiFi Routers and blink(1)

Many WiFi routers today (like the Asus RT-N16) have USB ports and many can run alternative and better firmware, like the wonderful TomatoUSB. The mini-Linuxes that make up these router firmwares are notoriously hard to compile for and have limited library support.  

To make it easy for those devices to use blink(1), we've developed a minimal version of our command-line tool, called "blink1-mini-tool". In the coming days we'll be making pre-compiled binaries and IPKGs available so you can make your router more colorful.

Linux & HIDRAW

And if you're a Linux hacker who prefers the HIDRAW interface, we have a very tiny command-line tool that's useful in restricted environments like server installs. It's called "blink1raw", check it out here: blink1raw README. (thanks Frederick!)

Mac & Windows apps and IFTTT

We're still putting the final touches on the primary Blink1Control app for Mac & Windows.  And we've been testing the new blink(1) channel at that lets you easily trigger blink(1) based on network events.  We expect to have them available in about a week.

In the meantime, we've compiled a set of fun Mac & Windows application toys for blink(1):

  • Blink1ColorPicker - simple test to try out blink(1) and make it any color
  • Blink1ColorOrgan - sound-reactive blink(1). Instant Disco!
  • BlinkATweet -- spy on Twitter in realtime, flash blink(1) when a keyword match occurs

You can download these from the "builds" directory on github.  And of course the source code is provided so you can see how it all works.

Thanks everyone and stay tuned for more cool apps!



    1. Creator Andy Hey on January 1, 2013

      Hi there - just an update on my blink(1) to say that it doesn't work with a hub either. Please advise on the net steps

    2. Creator Martin Seeger on December 31, 2012

      My blink(1) is also still missing. I should have paid more attention and have warned against the use of USPS for international shipping. My experiences with USPS have been between extremely bad and disastrous. For them the world ends at the US border no tracking is provided beyond. Even the handover to the local carrier is not documented. Even in the succesfull shipments, USPS has been slower by an order of magnitude than their competitors (e.g, DHL or UPS).

      Disappointed, Martin

    3. Creator Ferdy Hanssen on December 29, 2012

      I would also like tracking information on my shipment to NL, have not yet received my blink(1)s.

    4. Creator Olly on December 27, 2012

      still no sign of anything here in Germany. Last blog entry/shipping update was December, 6th... it´s been a while...
      I would appreciate a little bit more information regarding the shipping status. Let´s see if it arrives in January, if not - well, I´d rather like to have my money back

    5. Creator Arvid Bux on December 27, 2012

      Any word on shipping to NL. Haven't received anything yet. Somewhat of a tracking code would be great

    6. Creator David Elsweiler on December 27, 2012

      I'm in Germany and still haven't received mine. Any tracking news?

    7. Creator Markus on December 20, 2012

      I with Olav. Any news, tracking options?

    8. Creator Andy Hey on December 20, 2012

      Its a Sony Vaio Z2 I will do when I dig one out

    9. Creator ThingM on December 20, 2012

      Hi Andy,
      Try a USB hub in between the blink(1) and your computer. We've noticed some computers aren't seeing blink(1) directly. What model computer are you on?

    10. Creator Andy Hey on December 20, 2012

      Unfortunately mines has arrived in the UK and doesn't work. It blinks quickly on insertion tot he usb port and then nothing. None of the apps detect it either (win)

      Any ideas?

    11. Creator Martin Koistinen on December 19, 2012

      +1 for International Tracking info! I'm in BG here and still no sight of mine =(

    12. Creator Olav on December 14, 2012

      Any chance there will be tracking info for international orders to Germany? Tod mentioned the possibility in Project Update #12. I am eager to get my blink(1) before Christmas ;)

    13. Creator Erik Parker on December 13, 2012

      Got mine.. working perfect. I'll take your advice to modify the case. I'm actually mounting it on the end of a usb cable at height, so having an omnidirectional light would be ideal :)

    14. Creator Christopher Trevino on December 13, 2012

      Hey Guys, I just got my blink(1) and it's pretty sweet, except the red channel on mine doesn't work. I tested green and blue colors, and those worked correctly.

    15. Creator Danny Long on December 13, 2012

      Have blinks started to head over to the UK... we are desperate this end to get our hands on them...

    16. Creator Tobias "betabrain" A. on December 13, 2012

      Yep, it's fun alright! When will you publish a Python library?

    17. Creator Bryan Hanks on December 12, 2012

      Got mine the other day and I've been having tons of fun. I need more of these things!!

    18. Creator ThingM on December 12, 2012

      Hi Robert, We're contacting you now to arrange a replacement. Apologies!

    19. Creator Robert Fixer Smith on December 12, 2012

      I received my order of 2 blink(1)'s last night, but one of them is red only (using the osx tools from your website). The second one works properly. I assume this is a faulty unit, how can I request a replacement?

    20. Creator Jason Spangler on December 12, 2012

      Got mine today, thanks!

    21. Creator ThingM on December 11, 2012

      Hi Chris,
      We intentionally designed the enclosure so the LED wasn't so blinding, since it seemed like we were always getting blinded by LEDs! But we also designed the enclosure so you can take it apart and modify it. One way to modify it is to make your own on a 3d printer, using the CAD files we've updated to Thingiverse:

      Another way is we've done a small run of clear bottom parts, similar to this one: that we'll be offering in our store soon.

    22. Creator Chris Ly on December 11, 2012

      Got mine the other day... began hacking with it and whatnot. It works well, though I wish it was a little bit brighter. Even if it is annoying, I guess that's the point if you want to be notified, right? :). Also took me a while to get the java app working because I ran into some issues early, namely the DLL didn't work with my 64 bit version of Java and there were some code issues with the BlinkNanoHTTP server. But I think I got the hang of it now.

    23. Creator Ove Kristensen on December 11, 2012

      Received mine in Oslo, Norway today. Thanks!

    24. Creator Don Manning on December 10, 2012

      Still waiting on the update on custom etched orders. You said Saturday - I'm assuming you meant December 8th. Please let us know if they'll be shipped before the end of the year at least.

    25. Creator Neal Pitts on December 9, 2012

      Received my shipment a couple of days ago. Thanks!!

    26. Creator Douglas McCartney on December 8, 2012

      Just got my Blink(1) in the mail today and it is awesome! It has exceeded my expectations in every way! For such a simple concept and seemingly simple device, as a programmer I am already imagining all of the possible uses. Thank you.

    27. Creator Vittorio Bertocci on December 8, 2012

      Hi guys,
      I just got Blink(1) and the hardware looks *awesome*, thank you!!!:-)
      I was hoping to hack with it right away, however I am having issues with Windows/.NET support. None of the pre-built apps work, apart from the cmdline tool; and the WPF app is based on Awesomium, which does not support x64... and all of my machines are x64. Do you guys plan to update .NET support soon?

    28. Creator Chris Taran on December 8, 2012

      Just got mine today! It's awesome. And I just have to say, the box it came in is one of my favorite pieces of packaging ever :)

      I can't stop playing the with flap!
      Just wanted you to know I appreciate awesome packing like this (and awesome products).

    29. Creator Michael Allen on December 8, 2012

      I cant wait to get the two i ordered

    30. Creator Scott Jann on December 7, 2012

      I just got my blink(1) and got a shell script running with the blink1-tool off github in a few minutes, nice work guys!

    31. Creator Tom Cook on December 6, 2012

      Hey guys,

      It's late in the process but can I still change my shipping address? The original address I provided is no longer valid.

    32. Creator ThingM on December 6, 2012

      Hi Jan,
      We haven't had time to update that site yet. But in the update above, you'll see there's some links to the blink(1) github where you can download some example apps.

      In short, go here:

    33. Creator Jan Kuhlmann on December 6, 2012

      I've just received my blink(1), it looks nice, thanks! However I can't find the config software on your website

    34. Creator YoYo-Pete on December 6, 2012

      Awesome!! I cant wait to augment my life with the blink(1)s. And major kudos for the IFTTT channel. That makes lots of integration amazingly simple.

    35. Creator ThingM on December 6, 2012

      The custom laser-etched ones are being worked on still. We'll have an update about them on Saturday.

    36. Creator Evaristo Ramos on December 6, 2012

      Awesome I cant wait to play!! I get home hopefully this coming monday :)

    37. Creator Maximillian on December 6, 2012

      Will the custom etched blink(1)'s be going out, too?