The world of IoT devices is about to get a little weirder thanks to an Indiegogo project featuring a unicorn that toots a rainbow whenever you receive good news from Twitter, Twitch, and more.
Tootz came about when inventor Jaime Ruiz-Avila was hanging out with a friend. “My friend Brian’s 6-year-old and her friends knew I worked with lasers and computers and wanted me to make her a unicorn that toots rainbows,” he said.
So, he brought the idea to his team at Unlimited Enterprises Limited, an Austin-based design studio Ruiz-Avila founded in order to build things out of science fiction and make them real. “The idea of the company is to be a place where nothing is either too ambitious or, in this case, silly to pursue.”
Creating a happier internet, one toot at a time
Tootz the Unicorn looks like a simple, happy unicorn decoration at first glance. However, behind that gleeful smile is a sophisticated system powered by Intel’s Internet of Things SoC. It utilizes node.js and websockets to filter out good news from bad news, insuring that Tootz only activates when good things happen.
Ruiz-Avila said, “The idea is that your phone gets both good and bad notifications. Tootz only goes off for good news.”
For example, Tootz will do his thing when a new Twitch subscriber signs up, or your favorite people are online. It won’t, however, alert you every time someone says something rude on YouTube. You can set it to activate for a variety of situations through its mobile app.
“We started playing around, but as we did we realized that Tootz became like a physical manifestation of the positive side of the web,” Ruiz-Avila said. “It makes people have fun with technology and we’re all about that.”
Generating magical rainbows with IoT technology
Tootz connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi and is powered by either battery or USB. Its rainbow emissions are created with a blend of colorful LEDs accompanied by small amount of vapor to bring out the rainbow’s colors.
Tootz currently integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Twitch and Gmail to receive fart-worthy notifications. Support for additional services are expected soon as development continues.
But not every unicorn is as rich as you’ve heard
The Tootz project is available on Indiegogo, and backers can claim one of their own for $69-89 with a special Golden Horn edition available for backers that fund it at the $114 level.
The project’s goal is $9,000, which would be enough to bring wholesale costs down enabling the first production run.
If the Tootz project is successful enough, there may even be more magical creatures coming to the IoT world in the future. Ruiz-Avila stated, “We already have requests for a dragon that breathes fire and a “hype” Train that bellows multicolor steam. So, this might become a real product line.”