Gas station without pumps

2018 June 13

Romeo and Juliet

This year seems to be the time for Romeo and Juliet.  UCSC Shakes-to-go did it as their touring production to the local schools—I did not get to see that production this year, but my wife did.

UCSB’s Shakespeare in the Park class (THTR 194A) did it as their production, which I saw twice.  My son was in it, playing the role of Tybalt.  I took still photos of the Saturday production and video of the Sunday production.  I’ve not had time to select, crop, color-correct, and reduce resolution on the still photos yet, but my son processed the video and we put it up on Youtube:

There was a camera glitch at the end of the party scene, and I did not record a minute or two of the play while rebooting the camera.

Futuristic Lights provided the gloving lights for the party scene (donated to the cast) and loaned lights used for indicating the life of the actors (a rather futuristic way to handle the fight scenes that may not have been clear to the audience).  Many of the roles are cast cross-gender (a necessity with only 3 female roles and many actresses), including the part of Lady Capulet, played by a male actor.

Later this summer we’ll be seeing Santa Cruz Shakespeare doing Romeo and Juliet with professional actors, which will probably be the best production.

Advertisements

2017 October 29

Futuristic Lights at Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:36
Tags: ,

Zohar Wouk (CEO of Futuristic Lights) will be speaking at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup on Wed 1 Nov 2017. The meetup starts at 6pm at Cruzio.

Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp – November 2017

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017, 6:00 PM

Cruzio & Ecology Action Green Building
877 Cedar Street Santa Cruz, CA

175 Technologists Attending

David Coulter, Kelly Wachs, Haven, SurfX, Futuristic Lights, Support Logic   We are going cosmic for this event!  Very exciting line up!• How We Got the First Image of a Gravitational Wave Source / David Coulter:   astrophysicists at UCSC led a neutron star shattering discovery this month, validating Einstein’s gravitation wave theory.  Learn wh…

Check out this Meetup →

Incidentally, I understand that Futuristic Lights has finally finished shipping all the pre-ordered Ion glove sets—their new low-cost, high-feature product.

2017 August 20

Futuristic Lights’ new product: Ion C2C

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 11:35
Tags: ,

The Kickstarter for fidget spinners didn’t succeed, so Futuristic Lights decided that they’d missed the market for high-end fidget spinners and decided to stick with their strengths in gloving lights.  Their newest product is an entry-level gloving set, the Ion C2C, which is priced at $40 a set (only $35 during preorders). The lights are quite featureful for that price point, comparable to or better than $80 sets from their competitors.  Here are their claims from their sales page (go there to see videos of Ion C2C and more information):

With every new glove set we make, Futuristic Lights pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. The Ion is no exception! We think every Glover should have access to the latest gloving technology we offer, regardless if you’re a beginner or pro. To make this a reality, we had to make sure the Ions are as affordable as possible.

So … What do the Ions do?

The answer is …   More than every other entry level burner set combined!

Entry level lights tend to be affordable, but you don’t get very many features or modes. We wanted to change this. So instead of making just a streamlined version of our other lights, we made something completely unique. We’ve even added some new features that not even our top-of-the-line products have. 

Features:

  • Chip to Chip Communication 1.0 (C2C)
  • Randomizer
  • 38 Colors
  • 8 Flashing Patterns (Modes)
  • 8 Colors Per Mode
  • Demo Loop
  • True Brightness Control
  • Battery Lock
  • Conjure Mode (Updated)
  • Demo View
  • Factory Reset
  • And to top it off, it’s the same nano size as the Atoms!

I think that this product will pull some sales away from their more expensive lines as it offers a lot of the features much cheaper, but their hope is that it will pull even more sales away from their competitors.  Despite Futuristic Lights’ small size and tiny market share, they have managed through good engineering and good manufacturing contracts to keep their costs low, so that they can offer a high-end product at a low cost.  Their minimum orders for the manufacturing contracts are fairly high, though, so they are going to have to sell a lot to break even.

Because the gloving market is one that they are already familiar with (unlike the fidget spinners), they are not testing the waters with a Kickstarter campaign, but going directly to manufacturing.  They expect to be able to ship in about a month—assuming that no major problems crop up in the final testing of the firmware being done now.

2016 November 1

Futuristic Lights Atom

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:56
Tags: ,

Futuristic Lights (my son’s company) has just announced their third major product: a smaller, lighter gloving light that combines the two features of their two previous products.  Quoting from their announcement at  https://futuristiclights.com/collections/led-gloves/products/atom-motion-reactive-led-glove-set

Once again the very nature of Gloving is about to be changed. Encompassing everything we’ve been working towards at Futuristic Lights, the Atom LED Glove Set is where everything comes together. We started off Futuristic Lights by revolutionizing the Gloving industry with the world’s first motion reactive light glove set, the Kinetic. These LED Gloves introduced the art back into the world of Gloving. We followed this incredible light glove with the fastest programmable glove set around, the Aether. With the new Chip to Chip communication, you can now transfer complete sets or individual modes in a matter of seconds! Both of these incredible features will be packed into every single Atom LED Glover Set. What’s even more incredible, each light is now mini with a reduced 40% in sizing than our previous releases. This is the world’s most form fitting LED Glove set. For a second, glance down at the nail on your fingers. Now imagine a light that size sitting comfortably on top. The special nano size of the Atom will have you questioning if they’re still even on your fingertips! There is still much to learn about the Atom, stay tuned.

Pre-Order for your chance to own your very own set of Atom LED Light Gloves at a special early bird discount! 

Features:

  • Now 40% smaller than anything else we’ve made
  • Features the world’s best motion reactive technology
  • Revolutionary Chip to Chip communication

Release Date ETA: Holidays 2016

Their pre-order prices are  quite good, and they’ve lowered their prices on the older products (see their store at https://futuristiclights.com/collections/led-gloves).  The challenge now will be to see whether they can get them manufactured and shipped in time for the holidays—it looks like a pretty tight schedule to me.
In other news, they moved their offices this summer into downtown Santa Cruz (from Scotts Valley).

2015 December 13

Futuristic Lights: Æther

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:54
Tags: , ,

Last night, my son’s company launched their second product, another microlight for glovers: the Æther.

Aether

Just as their Kinetic microlight was the first one to incorporate an accelerometer and was quickly copied by Emazing Lights (though not very well), their new light introduces new technology also: light-to-light communication. This allows glovers to program one light, then transfer the program to their other lights (making for about 10× faster programming).  It also allows glovers to share their programs with friends in a second or two, and to store extra programs in spare lights, so that they can quickly reprogram their gloves between shows.

They did a live event for the product launch down in Los Angeles. I tried to watch the livestreamed product launch last night, but they had problems getting Twitch to work and switched to using Periscope.  They did not release the URL for the Periscope feed, though, and Periscope has an awful web site (they want people to buy the app). The URL for the feed is https://www.periscope.tv/w/1OyKAmjrXgyKb, which I found using the search capabilities of PersicopeViewer.  It is still possible to watch the recorded feed, but the launch info itself doesn’t start until about 44 minutes into the recording, and the Periscope recording died about 15 minutes later, while they were talking about the price.

The demo video that they showed at the launch is available on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FuturisticLights/videos/vb.944648888884263/1219665908049225/

According to their store (http://futuristiclights.com/products/aether-led-light-glove-set) a set of 10 lights with casings, diffusers, gloves, batteries, and bag costs $139.95, but I understand that there is a sale on: if you enter the promo code GAMECHANGER, the price is reduced to $100.  I don’t know how long that promotion is supposed to last, though.  A set of 12 lights (useful for providing storage for extra programs) is $164.95. They don’t seem to be selling single lights yet, but I suspect they’ll add that option eventually, since glovers will want them as a library of stored programs.

The site also has a good description of the product, with its 38 colors, 15 colors per mode, 13 modes, and 7 slots.  (Each slot holds one mode and the associated 15 colors, and transfers can be done either for a single slot or for the entire set of 7 slots.)  The 38 colors are the full brightness colors—there is also a brightness control for each color.

It has been about a year since they did the Kickstarter for the Kinetic, but this time they avoided the Kickstarter fees, funding the manufacturing from the proceeds of sales of the Kinetics.  They’ve also improved their relationships with manufacturers in China and figured out supply-chain problems in advance, so that they could get these boards made at a reasonable price before the product launch—they can start shipping immediately (well, on Monday, after they get back from LA).  Getting a better handle on manufacturing has also meant that they can bring out the new product cheaper than the Kinetics.

There were a number of difficult technical challenges in designing the lights (mainly software, rather than hardware), so I think that it will take Emazing Lights a while to duplicate.  Since Emazing Lights has a wad of venture capital from their Shark Tank episode, plus about 100× the sales of Futuristic Lights, they will be able to hire full-time engineers to try to duplicate what my son did in his spare time while he was a student at UCSB. I suspect that it will take them about 4 months to come up with their knockoff product, and it won’t be as good (just as Emazing’s accelerometer-based microlight is not as good as the Kinetic).

Right now, Futuristic Lights is making money, but all the money is being plowed back into the business—most of those associated with the company have only sweat equity, not salaries.  I suspect that it will be another year or two before Futuristic Lights has enough of a revenue stream both to sustain the company and pay salaries, assuming there are no startup disasters along the way.

I have no idea what their next product will be (well, they announced that they will be selling their own casings in a few months—what I meant is that I’ve no idea what their next major product will be), but I do know that they have a lot of ideas still.  I suspect that they are going to continue to try to stay at the high end of the market—they’d have a hard time competing with bigger, more established competitors on commodity products, where they could be easily be killed in a price war.  As long as they can keep coming out with innovative products, they should do ok.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: