Fences, Spheres and a Gas Burner

Saturday, January 19, 2008 Saturday, January 19, 2008

There are three unusual new items at Electric Pixels this week, and they are of a type I've never made before. I've created a new category at the store called, "Gadgets". These are definitely not particle effects you would ever want to wear, but they may come in handy in certain situations.

The first gadget is one of the most complex items I've built so far. It's a Gas Burner! You can place these on your virtual stovetop to make it look and operate just like the real thing. Flickering blue-white flames come from the emitter at a touch. Touch again and you go through all the settings: Off, Low, Medium and High. Just don't burn yourself! The box contains a set of four, suitable for most kitchen installations.

The second two products are really construction tools. Let's say you are setting up a site where you have a sensor in place to detect avatars at a distance of 26m, for example. While it's easy to place your sensor, where exactly does the 26m detection range lie? Now you can easily find the range with these two new particle products:

  • Particle Fence: It looks like a simple cylinder, but when you touch it, a series of highly-visible fence boards appear in a circle around the emitter. By default the radius is 10m, but with a simple chat command you can change it to any distance from 1m to 96m. Definitely not for use on the dance floor!
  • Particle Sphere: A two-dimensional fence is not what you need? Three Dimensional required? Well, the Particle Sphere performs precisely the same operation as the Particle Fence, but in a sphere instead of a 2D circle. No fence boards, it uses little dots instead as seen in the picture.

Both Particle Fence and Particle Sphere have large emitters so that you can easily find and click on them from a distance, and both also have an automatic shut off to avoid having them pollute your space with particles.

Amazingly, all three of these products were inspired (well, suggested might be a better word) by my blogging friend Peter Stindberg. Thanks muchly, Peter! The best ideas for new products are always found by talking to others who need them.


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