Internet-Connected Box Displays Emotion, Basement Dwellers Still Unaffected

For one reason or another, Twitter has become the modern zeitgeist, chronicling the latest fashions, news, gossip, and irrelevant content that sends us spiraling towards an inevitable existential ennui. This is a Twitter mood light. It tells you what everyone else on the planet is feeling. You, of course, feel nothing. Because of the ennui.

[Connor] decided it would be a good idea to audit the world’s collective mood using experimental social analytics. He’s doing that by watching millions of tweets a day and checking them against hundreds of keywords for several emotions. These emotions are graphed in real time, placed on a server, correlated and corroborated, and downloaded by a moodLight. Inside the moodLight, the emotions are translated into colors, and displayed with the help of a few RGB LEDs.

The moodLight is currently a Kickstarter campaign, with a $30 pledge getting you an assembled board with an ATMega328, an ESP8266, a few RGB LEDs, and a laser cut enclosure. After it’s assembled, the moodLight connects automagically to the analytics server for a real-time display of the emotional state of the Twitterverse. The display is updated every second, making the backend of this build just slightly more impressive than Kickstarter itself. It’s great work from [Connor], and an interesting experiment in analyzing the state of the Internet.

15 thoughts on “Internet-Connected Box Displays Emotion, Basement Dwellers Still Unaffected

      1. Angstrom is named after Anders Angstrom. Like Watts are named after James Watt or Volts after Alessandro Volta. Nanoangstrom shouldn’t be any more strange than kilowatt or millivolt. Except that angstrom isn’t an SI unit.

  1. For something so simple why include the atmega? The esp8266 can easily drive WS2812 LEDs as demonstrated in various other projects. The atmega probably makes up a majority of the BOM too.

      1. Connor here. All the ESP8266 Web requests are blocking methods, meaning the whole thing can freeze for anywhere from half a second to three seconds while it loads, every time it requests new data. Not very nice looking! So the dirty work was employed to an ATMega328p, because an ATTiny cannot fit the sketch size-optimizations and all.

  2. on the one hand both softwares (desktop and embedded) are quite a feat and a neat treat, sorry couldnt help rhyming.

    on the other hand, i don’t get it, twitter IS the internet?
    people who don’t use twitter don’t matter in this world?
    what about the other 90% of people whose only contact with twitter is through postings on yahoo”news”?
    i’ve never actually MET someone that actually admitted to having ever used twitter.
    so i don’t see the validity of any data collected from it. as far as im concerened twitter is 99% bots and 1% people, and im thinking 0.001% of those humans are actually automated sources so…

  3. EU ‘justice minister’ wants to severely censor twitter and facebook and the like.
    So for EU use you can just install some green lights and keep it at that. Resistance is .. verboten (and so are negative emotions.)

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