Sims-Style Plumb Bob Broadcasts Your Mood

While there are a lot of objects from the Sims that we wish were real, we probably wish more than anything that everyone had a mood indicator hovering above their heads at all times. It would make working from home go a lot more smoothly, for instance. [8BitsAndAByte] made this Bluetooth-controlled plumb bob as part of their Sims Halloween costume, but we think it has real day-to-day value as this pandemic wears on, either as a mood ring or a portable free/busy indicator.

The hardware is about as simple as it gets — an Adafruit Feather nRF52 Bluefruit controls a pair of NeoPixel rings, one for each half of the translucent 3D-printed plumb bob. Power comes from a 500mAh battery, and all the electronics are situated inside of an attractive hat. Check out the build video after the break.

There’s more than one way to use color to convey information. This seven-segment temperature display does it with thermochromic film.

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Thermochromic Imaging

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[clarii_d] is currently finishing up her thesis project on thermochromic pigment to silkscreen receipts. The idea behind it is that when a receipt is touched, part of it fades revealing a hidden message.

As you can guess, thermochromic paint is a type of substance that changes color when introduced to heat — or in this case, fades altogether. Remember when mood rings were all the rage? Same thing.

In her project she is using silkscreening to transfer text onto the back of receipt paper using regular ink. Once dried, she silkscreens an image over top of the message, this time using a thermochromic pigment. The result is a slightly obscured image, but after holding it for a few seconds, it disappears and only the text remains.

Color-changing anything is a bit gimmicky, but we think [clarii_d’s] project is a pretty cool and unique application of it. A few years ago we shared another interesting project utilizing thermochromism;¬†a color-changing clock face¬†that utilized the heat given off by resistors!