Sappy couple alert! Say you're sitting in your apartment — feeling a little emo (it's OK!) — watching the sky get stormy beyond your window. Your baby's not near, but you want to share the moment — and that's where Patch of Sky comes in. The fixtures wirelessly link up to your location and remotely mirror the weather wherever you're at — the Somewhere Out There of lighting design.
The series was designed by a team at Fabrica, a creative research centre that's pretty much always got some kind of crazy cool projects going on.
Using Arduino and an Internet-of-things bridge between hardware and software by BERGCloud, the three ambient illuminators can be registered to a particular Facebook account; that current forecast is then communicated to the lamps themselves, which flicker, glow and pulse in time with whatever Mother Nature's up to outside.
They're just prototypes at the moment, but I love the concept as a new kind of low-key connection that doesn't require the use of any sort of status update, text message, or dopey Yo; a subtle post-modern plug-in that's got a soft spot for long-distance love stories. D'awww. I think they'd lose a bit of their charm if they got too-too smart, but imagine if they could also become earthquake early warning signals, flashing at the first sign of the shakes? Or connecting to your Nest and flickering if there's a fire? Definitely not as romantic, but as we're definitely going to be seeing more real-time reactive devices sneaking into our lives, I can appreciate that this one starts from the heart. [Sight Unseen]