At Incredible Machines, we take holiday frivolity seriously. In lieu of sending traditional cards, we decided to gift the internet real-time control of our office Christmas tree. We designed a festive installation in our studio space and used a web cam to stream the scene 24/7 on our holiday site. Anyone with a web browser could tune in and play with the decorative lights by changing the colors or triggering blink animations. Although the flashing colored lights in our work space were a bit distracting, we were happy to give clients and friends the chance to peek into our daily grind and mess with us a little. As the site gained traction, collaboration turned into competition as participants started fighting for control over the tree. It was fun watching how many visitors were on the site at a time and see who’s lighting design was winning out over the others. Some folks even took the interaction a step further and connected an IRL color sensor to the holiday website. It was cool to see other creative technologists build upon our project.

Technologies Used:

Flash streaming video server


Node.js server

Javascript frontend