Christmas is the time of the year of Christmas trees, and what better opportunity than this for creatives to come up with their own versions. From 3D paper pop ups and sculptures to trees made up of recycled materials, Christmas trees can come in many forms. DIY trees can be personalized to one’s taste and resources and also save the need to buy a real or artificial one.
I came across this interesting Christmas tree from an Instructables post. How it works is that you can send a tweet to the tree to turn on or off lights of different colours. Although it may sound whimsical or silly, it is still a fun idea. I can imagine extending this project in different ways, such as doing a live video webcam for members of the public to control the lights of the tree. Another idea is to add different kinds of sound and putting a mega-sized version of this tree in some public square as a live interactive installation. The possibilities are fascinating to ponder.
I like the way this project was documented. Some really great art projects don’t do so well in their documentation due to poor video editing or quality, which means a much diminished impact to the viewer. I would expect nothing less of this kind of quality from the authors of this project who are leaders in the Instructables and Radioshack community. Although the end result is quite whimsical, the technical skill behind this project is quite formidable, using a combination of Python programming (which I am trying to learn), Arduino, and various wireless and mobile phone technologies.