Going BIG
Digable goes realtime with LEDs and a firehose.

“I’ve got a cool idea!”

This is how the best conversations start. Someone has an idea, yet they don’t know how it would ever be possible. Enter Digable. This idea came with one requirement – “prove it on a small scale before we go for it”. Fast forward a few days and a small scale prototype was sent out. On a live phone call a photo was hash-tagged on Instagram, and within seconds, a light turned on. Game on!

Feature Rich

These 8ft tall, steel reinforced, LED infused letters “B” and “G” were developed to do a lot of things – they didn’t just light up. They also reacted to sound, and could be configured to display any number of colors the RGB LEDs could show, both together or separate. Additionally, they could react to various scenarios programmed into the cloud based dashboard developed for them. Trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, hashtag tug of war between two sports teams to display their colors on the letters. Smart, social, and fun!

Not one, but two!

This setup required a twin-arduino setup. One board for each letter to allow for individual operation. This controlled the LED lights, transmitted current status and health monitoring, and received commands from the cloud based dashboard. This required extremely complex programming to allow the units to switch modes on the fly. Additionally, an extreme amount of network optimization was required to make sure the letters reacted in realtime.

The Twitter Firehose

In order to ensure that every tweet sent to this setup was caught, Digable had to employ the power of the Twitter Firehose. Using GNIP to power their Twitter integration, this made sure that any incoming hashtags were processed in sub-second timing for the setup to react.

Unmanned Operation

Creating something that is able to be setup, turned on, broken down, and have that process be repeated by any number of random people is not an easy thing to do. Digable made sure that the hardware was solid, and that the only thing required was plugging it in. Everything else did the work itself.

Compact and Efficient

Understanding that there had to be a lot going on inside a limited amount of space, Digable found the right enclosure to house the complex technology being utilized to bring this to life. Proper cooling was added to make sure everything was kept on the level. It was also to transport with its convenient carrying case handle!

The Payoff

These letters popped up at sporting events, concerts, and other amazing venues where they shined for everyone to see.