I have always hated those little pop-up notifications that you get when you receive a message on Facebook, Gmail, or Gchat if you use Google Chrome. Even though it’s nice to know you got them, they tend to get in the way, especially with a small screen on a netbook or ultrabook. I was sure there was a solution to my problem, because I did not want to turn them off and miss things, but at the same time I hated them popping up on top of my notes (or video games/movies if I’m being honest) in class. That’s when I came across Blink(1).

Blink(1) is the brainchild of the guys and gals at ThingM. It started out life as an idea, and then was successfully funded as a Kickstarter project, which ended on August 13. The concept is simple; it is three colored LED’s mounted to a board with a USB plug. This unit interfaces with free software on the ThingM web page, allowing you to program scripts that will run to flash the light, as well as an interface for a file or a web based platform called If This Then That, or IFTTT for short.

IFTTT is a web based trigger system that can be programed to do any number of things. I currently have a trigger set up so that if a certain item is posted on Craigslist my Blink(1) will flash purple. If I receive a message on Gchat, the Blink(1) flashes red rapidly. IFTTT also allows me to do things such as get an e-mail whenever my package tracking is updated, or various other things.

Blink(1) has become integral to my day after only a few weeks. I get alerts on my laptop that I have a new Gchat message, without the annoying popups.

At $30, the Blink(1) isn’t cheap, but at the same time it definitely is a game changer for a small laptop. I also move it between my computers, letting it notify me if I get new texts by tying into the scripting for MightyText. Getting the device to work exactly how you want for certain things is difficult if you don’t know coding, but the downloadable graphical interface is very easy to use for those who are not interested in coding it themselves.

Overall, I love my Blink(1) and would recommend it in a heartbeat. It can be picked up at [http://shop.thingm.com/blink1/].

4 out of 5 stars

 

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