Ben spent most of the last month glued to his computer, working on product development, Horatio updates, and lots and lots of coding. But that’s not to say it wasn’t an exciting month! Here’s a few peeks at what we’ve been up to:
- We created a mockup for a public art installation in downtown Pittsburgh, which includes a web-portal control interface for an RGBW light. The controller also tracks temperature and humidity, since the lights in this installation are going to live in some pretty extreme conditions. (More on that soon!)
- The new revision of the Horatio hardware now sports an internal battery backup, allowing us to distinguish between a power failure and a network failure.
- We have a new system in the works (Code Name: Prometheus), and we’re getting close to a beta release and announcement. Can’t say more than that yet, but we’ll have more details for you in next month’s roundup post!
Mockup web interface with temp and humidity monitoring.
Updated Horatio board with internal battery backup.
Board for Prometheus, now in development. Any guesses as to what it is?
It’s been a big month for us here at BPI! We moved out of the old shop (just in time, since that huge storm blew out a window – if we hadn’t already moved Ben’s office out, all the computers and electronics would have been soaked!), and we’re mostly settled into the new shop. I’ve been organizing the office, while Ben got the router set up in its new home and started organizing the electronics shop. Meanwhile, the littlest member of our team has settled right into her office – we’re pretty sure she’d be happy to just move in there and never come home.
We got the move done just in time, since cue light season is back in full swing – we’re shipping 6 Prospero units in the next six weeks – and Ben is about to do a beta installation of Horatio Outdoor. He’s also continuing development on the Midi Show Control box, which should be done by mid-October.
We’ve also got some exciting news: we’re exhibiting at LDI for the first time this year! I’ve gone into master planning mode, making schedules and designing the booth, while Ben gets Horatio and Prospero ready to show off to the world. It’s going to be a crazy couple of months, but we’re excited. If you’re going to be at LDI, drop us a line, and stop by to chat with Ben – Booth #1782!
Sad to leave behind our “urban stained glass”, and our fabulous neighbors at the Design Center!
Good thing we got out before the storm – there were giant puddles in the middle of the former office!
New home of our little CNC router.
She’s made herself right at home.
The new MSC Box lets you pause and restart MIDI data with the press of a button.
Color coding is the key to everything.
Ben spent most of this week working on a custom Horatio installation for a public art project downtown. When the installation opens tomorrow, we’ll be monitoring everything about it, from lighting to water to CO2, via 30 different sensors connected to a custom-built Horatio. We can’t say much about it right now, but check out the photos below, and stop by the parklet at Penn & 8th downtown after tomorrow to see it for yourself – it’s going to be great!
Ben also found time this week to do a little more testing on the outdoor Horatio, stop by a local Horatio installation in progress, and head down to Market Square to assist with Mix N’ Match strike. It was a busy week!
Swapping out the CO2 regulator for a digital sensor to monitor flow and consumption.
Left NPT to Right NPT nipple, plus a female to female (right hand) NPT coupler, to make the CO2 sensor fit.
Sensor in place, monitoring the CO2 tank.
Wiring up some sensors to monitor the art installation.
Horatio, mid-installation. Not the recommended mounting orientation.
Beta unit of the outdoor Horatio, mounted on the roof of the shop to see how it holds up out in the elements.
LED tape pulled up during Mix N’ Match strike.
Ben’s been working on all sorts of things this week, including customizing a Horatio for a new art installation in the Cultural District, finishing up that DMX-to-IR converter, and updating the touch-sensitive basketball backboard we built with John Murray Productions for Chevron STEAM Zone’s Vertical Leap exhibit a few years ago. He’s also testing out a new outdoor version of Horatio – by hanging it out the window at the shop. Life is never boring here at BPI!
Another of Ben’s offices this week: a new interactive art installation opening Downtown in 2 weeks!
Testing out the DMX-to-IR converter board before installing it in its case.
The DMX-to-IR converter is almost done!
Updating the touch sensors from the Chevron STEAM Zone Vertical Leap exhibit.
Hanging a new outdoor version of Horatio out the window to test its resilience.
Now that we’ve told the world about Horatio, we spent the last week getting everything ready for the first few units to ship. Ben’s been busy building the Bridge Devices in the shop, while I’ve been preparing a little surprise for our first customers.
Ben also spent some time working on a custom DMX-to-IR converter for a client (to cue infrared-controlled LED candles via DMX), and the littlest member of our team has been working on writing (and coloring) her numbers. She’ll be in the shop building Horatios in no time!
Also, in case you missed it, we got some great Horatio press from Stage Directions, and a mention in this Live Design article about the Winter Palace on Fifth!
An extra button we just added to Horatio lets the user manually send an alert when they see something go wrong.
Building Horatio Bridge Devices in the shop.
Custom board to convert DMX to infrared for a client’s IR-controlled LED candles.
A little surprise is hiding inside each Horatio box!
The tiniest member of our team has been practicing her numbers!
Ben’s hard at work on final Horatio development (launching this Friday – stay tuned for more details!), plus squeezing in some custom circuit board design for a new client. He also took some field trips last week to tweak a couple of Horatio’s beta installations – can you name those Pittsburgh landmarks?
St. Nicholas Church in Millvale – one of Ben’s offices this week
Homestead Grays Bridge – another one of Ben’s offices this week
Custom board design – DMX to IR converter
Monitoring page for multiple Horatio units, with real-time photos for installations with cameras!
One of the many pages of reports Horatio can deliver
Nifty bar chart of up and down times for a Horatio installation
Mix N’ Match, the public art installation that Ben’s been working on in Market Square all week, had its grand opening at the Bicentennial Gallery Crawl this past Friday, and it was a huge hit!
We’ll be posting more details about the project and our part in it later this week, but for now, check out this great write-up in the Trib, see a few more of our photos below, and stop by Market Square to play with it yourself!
Mix N’ Match is ready to open!
Grand opening, during the Bicentennial Gallery Crawl
Ben was in New York last week for the opening of the Spring 2016 season of Fightball, a new, intense, one-on-one basketball competition. We worked with TPG to create a new-and-improved scorekeeping system for this season, along with a couple of custom-built shot clocks that interface with it.
Check out the video below – you can see our scoreboard projected on the screen above the stands and the shot clocks above the two backboards. And if you look closely, you can also see Ben sitting just to the right of the scoring table – right in the middle of the action!
One of our Prospero cue light controllers was spotted in the wilds of a Broadway theatre last week – and it’s grown some awesome modifications since it left our shop!
Those things mounted on the front of it are lacer bars, which someone has cleverly added to serve as finger rests and switch guards. We might start offering that as an add-on feature!
Kevin Barry, Broadway Electrician Extraordinaire, came to us a few years ago with an idea for a better cue light panel. After months of discussion, development and prototyping, that idea turned into the Prospero, which is now in use on more than a dozen Broadway shows and tours.
Kevin came to us with another idea recently, and now we’re developing this spiffy little box. It does something interesting with Midi Show Control, but we’re not quite ready to share yet. Stay tuned for more details!