Flowtoys line of "vision" LED juggling clubs, poi, staves, and other props contain our “vision light core”. It is capable of displaying incredible images and patterns, wirelessly connecting, and programming custom modes and shows with a single button, but it does have its limitations and we recognize that some people want even more functionality, like more advanced show control and programmability features.
We are working on a software application that will give you more direct control over modes, favorites, shows and settings, the ability to upload/display logos/images, and possibly a timeline editor, but this will take awhile to develop. We are also developing a “connect bridge” hardware device that will enable you to have direct control of vision and capsule connect props by computer, DMX, wifi, bluetooth etc. including some open-source software designed specifically for prop control by our friend and programmer/artist Benjamin Kuperberg (more below).
In addition, we are working on a new line of props - the "creators core” - designed specifically for creators, hackers and developers. Here are some of the main features and differences between creators and vision:
- Both vision and creators props have the same LED pixels, battery, body/build options, look and feel identical on the outside.
- On the inside, creators core will have more processing, memory, sensors, wifi, bluetooth and available pads and pins for add-ons.
- Vision props are affordable, simple and user-friendly with well-developed software, modes and support for casual users, artists and performers, who do not want to use a computer to change their modes. Vision can easily be connected and controlled in large numbers and remotely. A full-featured hardware remote control and a DMX transmitter is in development.
- Creators props require technician/developer skills and flowtoys will offer very little technical support for them.
- "Creators” is best described as a developer's platform. This “open source” line comes with little support, but if you know what you are doing, you can do a lot with it.
Ben Kuperberg's open-source firmware and software are already well developed for it, but implementation can be tricky and you must be technically skilled and willing to put in work to make them do interesting things, or integrate them into a show. They are designed and intended for customization and highly-technical show integration, based on the ESP32 platform with full pin breakouts, a 9-axis IMU an I2C bus running the length of the club for easy hacking, and are covered in 92 IR LEDs for video-motion tracking. We have not yet found a good solution for 3D motion tracking, but it would be possible to add on your own components for that.
More on Ben and his software:
Benjamin Kuperberg is musician and digital artist from France, passionate about finding the right mix between art and technology to create unique experiences and performances, while keeping a strong open-source focus. This led him to be core member of projects like V Motion Project, Bionic Orchestra 2.0 and the lead developer of Theoriz Mixed Reality Research Program.
Ben's been a regular resident artist at the flowspace, sharing his experiences of bringing technology to artists, and the open-source artists friendly tools his is creating: Chataigne, Bento (in collaboration with Flowtoys, specifically for LED prop control) and propsdatworkz (for controlling flowtoys connect props with flowtoys connect bridge