Insect communications device is kinda buggy
Fireflies are certainly fascinating to watch as they signal to one another with their bioluminescent abdomens, but have you ever wanted to join in the conversation? Well, you apparently should soon be able to do so, with a little help from the Firefly Communicator.
Created by entrepreneur Joey Stein, who previously designed interactive displays for New York's American Museum of Natural History, the device features two LEDs – one is green and one's amber.
Utilizing a smartphone app, users can program these lights to flash in patterns that are specific to various species of fireflies. The patterns are transferred from the phone to the device not via Bluetooth, but instead simply by placing the Communicator's light sensor over the flashing display on the phone.
Not all the insects' flashing patterns are documented, however, so there's also an option to "freestyle." Using this option, users manually flash the LEDs to mimic a firefly's signal. If the insect does indeed respond, that pattern can be saved on the app.
Stein is currently raising production funds for his device, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$30 will get you a Firefly Communicator of your own, if all goes according to plans.