Remember how the enchanted ceiling in the Great Hall, in Harry Potter, resembled the sky above? Also: remember how the Weasleys had that clock that showed the status of each family member? This lovely Patch of Sky project combines the two and lets you magic up your home, too.
Developed by Leonardo Amico, Federico Floriani, Reda Jouari, Alice Longo, Akshataa Vishwanath, and Giorgia Zanellato, at the Italian research studio Fabrica, the Patch of Sky lamp takes three forms. Each consists of a circular or semi-circular mirror and a sturdy, narrow bar. The narrow bar and the border of the round display are both patterned like the night sky, but it’s the mirror that makes the lamp special.
Powered by an Arduino (the inexpensive open-source micro controller board) and connected to the Internet, Patch of Sky uses your Facebook location to figure out where you are and then matches up the current weather, in real time, to your lamp. Any of 11 possibilities, including snow, fog, sun, drizzle, and heat, animate your mirror with a gently pulsing gradient color. And when you travel (assuming you let Facebook track your location), the weather wherever you are continues to get displayed on your lamp–so those at home can virtually see what you see outside.
The lamp is still in prototype, which is too bad, since I’d like to buy it.