Huey the Chameleon - a lamp that changes colors to match its surroundings
By Ben Coxworth
May 10, 2011
Suppose you just love the sage green color of your new desk blotter, and think "If only I could instantly make my whole office this color." Well, now you can ... sort of. The designers over at ThinkGeek have created a gizmo called Huey the Color Copying Chameleon Lamp, that automatically "reads" any color that it's placed upon, then glows in that color.
Huey goes about his business by first illuminating the surface beneath him with two white LED lights. A built-in optical sensor determines the correct color, then an electronics package adjusts the hue of multiple color-changing LEDs to reproduce that color, which is emitted through Huey's soft vinyl skin.
If users want to light one area with the color of a surface located in another, they just need to take Huey to that surface, then squeeze him when he matches its color – this causes him to hold that color until further notice. Like the Philips LivingColors LED lamp, Huey can also be set on a cycling program, in which he continuously fades from one color to another. If users see a color they'd like him to stay at, they give him a squeeze.
Even just five years ago, according to the designers, Huey's color-sensing technology was too expensive for use in consumer products. Now, it's incorporated into a toy lizard.
Huey the Color Copying Chameleon Lamp runs off an AC adapter or three AAA batteries, and is available on the ThinkGeek website for US$29.99.