YEAR: 2014

Also known as Smart Cloud in our Cloud Guide. The Cloud is an Arduino-controlled, motion-triggered lightning & thunder performance, as well as a music-activated visualizing speaker. As an interactive lamp and speaker system designed to mimic a thundercloud in appearance, The Cloud employs embedded motion sensors to create unique lightning and thunder shows while providing entertainment value and inspiring awe. This is a kind of magic, not based on illusions and trickery, but on sensors and code. Featuring a powerful speaker system, The Cloud allows its beholder to stream music via any Bluetooth compatible device and can adapt to any desired lighting and color.

Other versions of the Cloud have evolved either in order to explore new markets and opportunities or just to collaborate and experiment. In this way the Cloud itself has become a project family constantly improving and growing both individually and as a collective whole.

Photo by   Greg Broom

Photo by Greg Broom

Acting as both an immersive lightning experience and visual feedback integrated speaker, The Cloud introduces innovative physical computing and interaction design hardware by bringing this technology into the home. The Cloud celebrates collaborative code, free-sharing and accessing prototyping information. The code is available to the public to use and improve, to provide blueprints for the next generation of smart objects. 


Inexpensive and easy to program microprocessors allow designers and tinkerers to understand the nature of electronic goods, and therefore enable the creation of new and increasingly meaningful interactions.

The original Cloud was made by felting hypoallergenic polyester fiber to a sponge casing which holds the speakers and componentry within. Users control the functions of The Cloud  through a small, wireless remote. Now we use a more streamlined and durable process, treating the fiber with a setting agent and flame retardant.

Photo by   Bridget Badore

Photo by Bridget Badore

Recent work to expand the clouds music reactive code by creative technologist Oscar de la Hera enables the cloud to react to voice and ambient sounds as well sound systems and other Smart Clouds.