A visual weather connection


An exercise about creative connectivity. Physical computing is such a powerful concept, unfortunately is as cool to look at as hard to bring to the market.

SBlinky is a remote communication system based on the internet, which allows two people who are distant to keep in touch in a different, unusual and involving way.
The system is composed of two devices, one per user, each of which is activated by blowing and produces a visual output which represents the weather conditions of the place where its partner is.
Each box has a “dimple” which is used both for the main input and output, and a ring of light around it that resembles a dandelion, used to represent the other user’s interaction.

Design notes

When we think about communication between two people today, we think of phone, chat or email, or web 2.0 services, such as Twitter or Facebook.
But there’s no real connection between the information that is transmitted and the real world, just words, translated thoughts.
We spent a lot of time considering how modern technology can trasform the most complex tasks into something extremely easy to do for everyone, but at the risk of filtering out in the process part of the information not considered not so important.

This project does aim to be an alternative to the cited “traditional” communication devices, on the countrary, it aims to transmit and receive just the kind of information that is neglected by them, or lost inside an excessive flow of information: a simple and quiet sign of presence and affection, activated by a single breath.
The shape and way of using of this device is also different from the usual, very functional way of using computers and mobile phones, too trivial and cold for our purposes.
Blinky delivers his “ping” in response to a gentle breath, a simple and physical way of interaction, while the visual output is produced from the local weather conditions where the other Blinky is; so the system works both with human interaction and actual physical world feedback.

Role and Team

Alessandro Filippi (UX Design, Rendering)
Alberto Moro (UX Design, Prototyping)
Valeria Donati (UX, Presentation, Concept)


Photoshop Extended CS4
Illustrator CS4
3D Studio Max + Vray


The details about the project are hosted on Interaction Venice IUAV Blog, in english:

Project blog