Lego LikeLight

Facebook Like Indicator

Integrated Components
  • Arduino Uno (Microcontroller)
  • Lego Digital Designer
  • 158 Lego Bricks
  • Facebook Graph API
  • PHP
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How would a Facebook Like look in the physical world?

When Facebook opened up their Graph API, developers everywhere took to the streets celebrating all the data they could now access. Our minds went immediately to wondering what we could do with it. We started thinking – how could we take a single piece of the new information and display it physically, as a fun reminder that our real-world jobs are constantly being affected by virtual-world stats?

Choosing a Stat

We decided the most understandable stat for the general Facebook user was the Like. So our goal became to build a physical Like figure that reacted when someone Liked a given Facebook page. Next we needed a building material. We landed on Legos for two reasons: they look a lot like big 3D pixels, and they’re pretty much the best toys ever.

Connecting the Dots

From that point, the pieces started falling into place. Lego has a program for designing custom sets to build anything you want, so we designed a Like thumb and added a translucent front for 4 LEDs to sit behind. Then we wired in an Arduino microcontroller to communicate with a Facebook page (we chose Lil Wayne’s because he gets a lot of Likes), and wrote a script that tracked new Likes. The result: every time Lil Wayne got a new fan on Facebook, our LikeLight shined for a few seconds.

Review: Thumbs Up

Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought a physical Facebook Like was cool. The LikeLight process video received 75k views and several gushing reviews – one of which had 300+ shares on its own. It’s one more piece of evidence that the wall between physical and virtual worlds is falling. And the ones who find new ways to break it down will be rewarded.