PatchOfSky_0

Patch of Sky by Fabrica

People who know me well consider me to be semi-obsessed with the weather. I check it often, and I’ve long had the habit — often wondering if I was the only one — of bookmarking the cities of my friends and family in my app of choice, Weather Underground, just so I could picture from time to time whether they might be out frolicking in the sunshine that day, or cowering from a nasty snowstorm. And I was especially enthusiastic when, earlier this week, I read that the set of 250 new emojis released this month included far more nuanced ways to indicate to others via text your current meteorological status (here’s hoping I don’t have to use “cloud with tornado” anytime soon). It’s no wonder, then, that when an email came in this morning from the folks at the Italian design-research studio Fabrica touting their latest project Patch of Sky, a “set of three Internet connected ambient lights, enabling you to share the sky above you in real-time with loved ones, wherever they are,” I dropped what I was doing and decided to post about it immediately, something we almost never do at Sight Unseen, where we’re all about the long game.

PHOTOS BY SHEK PO KWAN

PatchOfSky_1Developed by a team including Leonardo Amico, Federico Floriani, Reda Jouahri, Alice Longo, Akshataa Vishwanath, and Giorgia Zanellato, Patch of Sky functions relatively simply — using Arduino and an internet connectivity bridge called BERGCloud, the system allows you to register your Facebook profile, and thus your location, so that it can read the weather report for wherever you might be and share it with the devices in the possession of your loved ones. Those devices react by displaying one of 11 different pre-programmed light animations, some of which are pictured below. Another thing we almost never do at Sight Unseen is get all romantic and stuff, but since I’m in Berlin right now and my own loved ones are far away, the group’s mission statement happens to seem kind of sweet: “Patch of Sky is your partner or friend’s silent companion, that will tell them about the sky and world you’re living in, while away.” Scroll down to see the lights in action, then click here to find out more.04_Patch-of-Sky_StormStormHot_sky2Hot00_Patch-of-Sky_CloudyCloudyPatchOfSky_2PatchOfSky_4PatchOfSky_DetailPatchOfSky_6