The lights are on in Lancaster City Centre. After three years FireFly has its first real public outing. You can see them now and for the next few months in Dalton Square in the centre of Lancaster.
The initial idea for FireFly came after a meeting where we had been discussing various forms of public displays. For some reason, a thought struck – those tiny lights that you see in trees outside hotels and in city centres throughout the year; what if you could turn those into a display?
That was in early 2004 and now after several years of Joe Finney’s ingenuity and Angie Chandler’s hard work, they are here. Behind each of the three thousand lights in the CityLab display is a microprocessor as fast as my first PC! If you are near Lancaster in the next few months do go see them, they are just by the City Hall, under the beady eye of Queen Victoria’s statue.
In another bit of Christmas technology, this year I ported crackers to facebook. The good old virtual crackers are still there, but now you can also send facebook crackers 🙂 Mostly this was a straight port, but there are interesting differences because of the way facebook works as a platform. I’ve been watching the stats I collect and it is interesting to see that whilst around 2/3 of email crackers are opened only about 1 in 5 are opened in facebook. I guess with so much food being thrown and the like, facebook users are far more used to ignoring things :-/