Even though it has many real-world applications — like as a self-sealing lubricant — ferrofluid's most common use is as one really awesome desktop distraction. But when you've seen one black spiky blob, you've seen them all. So the creators of the new Fluux LiquiMetal toy have breathed some novelty back into ferrofluid by chemically engineering it to shift colours.
The first version of the Fluxx LiquiMetal — which has already surpassed its $US20,000 fundraising goal on Kickstarter — has an eye-catching, almost alien-like shimmering blue/violet tone. But its creators claim that they can actually produce ferrofluid in a variety of different colours.
A small blob of the specially-formulated ferrofluid comes permanently sealed in a clear glass tube that's mounted in a display stand made from anodized 6061-T6 aluminium and acrylic. So when it's sitting on your desk and (rarely) not being played with, it looks more like a sculpture than a toy. A pledge of $US55 secures you one of the Fluux LiquiMetals (if and when they successfully go into production) and a magnetic wand for making the ferrofluid dance and move at your command.
It's like having all the joys of an alien blorb friend, with none of the inevitable body-snatching or probing side effects. [Kickstarter]