Eric Miller, one of our talented software engineers at InspiringApps, has also been busy with an inspiring project outside of the office. He has been working with the Handweavers Guild of Boulder on an activation of the arches framing the entrance to the Dairy Center for the Arts at 26th and Walnut. The arches are woven with various metals and lined with 2280 addressable, programmable, RGB LEDs. Called “Luminescence”, the project is set to launch on the evening of November 19th. Volunteers from the Guild and community have contributed countless hours of labor and expertise so far.
Of his own role, Eric says, “Along with some modeling and design work, I’ve been building a WebGL-based 3D simulator for testing and speccing the project. The code is open source, and the hope is to release it as an authoring environment in which the community can develop their own programs both for this installation and other illuminated art projects.”
Other technical leads on the project are Dan Julio of Dan Julio Designs in Boulder and Mike Bissell from San Francisco. Dan designed the power system, LED drivers, and integrated the core hardware, while Mike has built a lightweight and powerful OpenPixelControl rendering engine in Java.
“Mike’s renderer is running on a networked Raspberry Pi, which is talking to Elizabeth Scott’s awesome little fadecandy boards over the OpenPixelControl protocol. Then Dan’s system carries data and power out to the 38 LED strips. A lot of the hardware has been sourced from our local DIY company SparkFun, which has been contributing as well.”
Meanwhile, Nederland High School teacher Mark Savignano has been working with his students on the the initial interactivity design, which is scheduled for unveiling in early December.
“It’s been a big open-source, community effort,” says Eric. “I’m really happy I could be a part of it.”
You can read more about the project on the Dairy’s announcement page.
Photocredit: Coil Lighting | www.coil-lighting.com
We loved having the excuse to get outside, make new friends, and get a little competitive thanks to this challenge. But you can’t have a good adventure without some misadventures to balance everything out. Here, software engineer Seth McClaine tells us about an afternoon that made him question his cycling karma:
Doing my typical Saturday ride with the Bicycle Village group and one of my new riding friends I met through the Quick Left Strava Challenge, I finally get my first flat ever on a ride.
Starting from the beginning, I decided to ride from my house and get the extra 5 miles in to put towards the challenge. I get to BV (Bicycle Village) and we are scheduled for a 30 mile ride. We head out, get some coffee in Erie, and start heading back. About 5 miles out from returning to BV a fellow rider blows out her rear tire. I stopped to help. After giving some assistance and leaving her with a ride ambassador, my friend and I continued riding back.
I went on to say “I always try to stop because I feel like it’s good karma. In the four years I’ve been riding I’ve never gotten a flat on a ride…”
About a mile from BV I have a massive blowout. A pop, three whizzes (rotation of the tire while you can hear the air coming out), and my tire is completely flat. So much for karma!
I’m thinking, “Ehh, about a mile out, I could just walk back to BV then drive home… Oh wait, I didn’t drive.” I replace my tire, using CO2 to fill it up, get back on and get back to BV. A couple minutes after I had set my bike in the rack we hear a pop. At first I figured someone else popped their tire throwing it on the rack, as someone was putting their bike on the rack next to mine.
Later I find out, no my tire blew up, blow out number 2! The CO2 must have warmed up and over inflated the tire. Conveniently I brought an extra tube since my friend didn’t have extras. I take my wheel into the shop and replace the tube again.
As I get close to 100PSI BANG! Nothing makes your ears ring like exploding a tube inside a building. I managed to pinch the tube with the tire since I was being hasty replacing the tube and didn’t roll the tire correctly. I was out of tubes and a little frustrated.
Fine, I take it back to the service area and let them fix it. A couple minutes later I get my tire back and start to walk toward the register. Then I notice a small bubble coming out of the side of the tire… Apparently the pinch flat I had just done caused the side of the tire to blow out. Ok, back to service. They set me up with a new tire, and I’m finally good to go after paying.
All in all, at the end of the day, I now have matching red wall tires on my bike for the first time in two years.
We had lots of fun this month, misadventures and all. Thanks to Quick Left for organizing this challenge! It was an excellent way to foster community, get people out and about, and support a wonderful cause. In honor of Radio 360’s win, we’re making a donation to their chosen organization, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
It’s hard to live in Boulder – the fittest city in the country – without finding your own niche of physical activity. We’re a pretty active bunch here at InspiringApps, with yoga, cycling, swimming, running and even dancing among our favorite pastimes. And while we spend plenty of time at the gym during the winter, our “ActiveIA” selves truly shine when the weather’s nice and we can get outdoors as a team – from participating in the IronMan triathlon relay last year to this summer’s National EMS Memorial Bike Ride.
That’s why we were stoked to learn our friends down the street, Quick Left, had planned the Startup Strava Challenge (#startupchallenge), which kicked off yesterday. It’s the perfect combination of a lot of our favorite things – apps, startups, getting active, community, and supporting great causes. All this month, we’ll be using Strava to track our miles as we compete with 20 of Boulder’s finest startups like PivotDesk and Pearl Izumi. The team with the most miles per capita will have the “pot” of entry fees donated to the organization of their choice. We’re walking, running, hiking and biking on behalf of People for Bikes, a great organization that gets people active and improves cycling conditions in cities across the US.
Follow along as we rack up the miles by checking the Strava widget below – and to see how we compare with the other teams, head on over to the Quick Left blog. We’re small but mighty, and we’re pumped to have another reason to spend some time out and about this month.
Ready, set… GO!
The first Boulder Startup Week event hosted by InspiringApps was a smashing success! Panelists Sean, Daniel, Royce, and Rachel shared insights into what it’s like to be new to Boulder. Topics ranged from best Mexican food in Boulder (Big City Burrito, Illegal Pete’s and Zolo Grill) to ways to find a good apartment, to how to meet folks (meet ups and climbing gyms). Thank you panelists for speaking to the crowd gathered in our office!
Come on back Friday for our own Aaron Lea’s insights on UX.
May 10, 2013
It’s May, and Boulder Startup Week is upon us. Due to the success from last year’s packed, standing-room-only event here at InspiringApps, we decided to host not one, but two events for 2013 to accommodate the entrepreneurial spirit of Boulder. Be sure to register early to ensure your chance to get in the door.
I Moved To Boulder And…
Wednesday, May 15th 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
What happens when you move to Boulder? A LOT. It’s pretty amazing how easy it is to get plugged into the community here. Instead of just reading about it, come meet people who have moved here in the last year and hear how easily they’ve integrated into the community.
This event will start with a short panel where some recent Boulder transplants will tell their stories and answer questions, and then we’ll wrap things up with a happy hour.
Register here to attend (free)
UX Crash Course
Friday, May 17th 2013 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Does everyone LOVE what you are building? Great product is the result of great user experience (UX). Join the national thought leaders in UX to learn how to make product that not only works, but is a JOY to use. Brian Baker, Managing Partner of The First User, along with Aaron Lea of Inspiring Apps will illustrate the fundamentals of UX – and with a small group of folks, dive deep into how you can build Great UX into your product.
Register here to attend (free)
We hope to see you there!
May 25, 2012
How lucky are we to live in a city that is ridiculously supportive of technology, startups, and entrepreneurs? Austin, Boston, New York and San Fran may have Boulder beat in terms of size and quantity, but we definitely have them beat on community and quality. The events of Boulder Startup Week last week reinforced that “Boulder is for Startups”.
May 17, 2012
Another Boulder Startup Week event enjoyed by all! Win, Lose or Draw Something featured some budding artists, yummy cookies and great beer. Check out some of our favorite creations from the afternoon.
May 17, 2012
It’s Boulder Startup Week and the team at InspiringApps thrives on the energy that Boulder is infused with during these crazy days! We had the privilege to co-host an event with Ryan Angilly of Signal Genius last night and it was a huge success. Over 100 attendees stopped by to meet new people and share their success stories about moving to Boulder. We had visitors who had only been in Boulder for 2 hours and Boulderite veterans who have enjoyed this strong community for over 25 years.
Interested in industry news and trends?
Sign up for our monthly email to get the highlights on technologies and innovations impacting mobile strategy.