Short story - fascination easily achieved with the help of an Automat BaseBoard, nodeRED with a web service of choice and an early version of the Automat iPhone app.
NodeRED is a very nice tool for connecting web services and hardware together and putting them to work for you. It’s installed locally on your computer or on a server and is edited through a page in a web browser. On installation, you get a collection of nodes. Each node has its own functionality like sending info to a connected hardware device to turn on a light. Another node might receive data from Twitter. You draw nodes into a window to create a flow, consisting of several nodes connected together. So, using the two example nodes above, you create a Twitter node and set it up with your Twitter credentials and just draw a line from its output to the input of the blink hardware node that you dragged into the flow.
We’ve created some nodes of our own to control the Automat BaseBoard. One of them is called blink, and it sends a blink sequence to a connected BaseBoard making one of its built in LEDs blink, using the iPhone app as a gateway.
We connected the Twitter node to the @neuelabsautomat account, set it up to react when someone mentions us on Twitter, connected the node to the blink node and voila, there you have it, 3 grown engineers fascinated by a blinking light…