When used with Twitter, LexIrie pulls in text from a search of Twitter for the term “I feel” (it is also configurable to search for any other terms) and then displays the search result that comes back. The results are whatever is returned from that real time search. What you see can be happy, sad, funny or incomprehensible. LexIrie then searches the returned results for key terms (like good, bad, and sorry) and then changes its light output to reflect the mood of what’s being displayed.

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Environmental and budget friendly walnut cabinet.

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Custom steel pipe lamp.

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LexIrie. The internet of things meets feelings.

LexIrie is designed to operate without a connection to a computer which enables placement in many locations. Once configured it requires only an ethernet cable and a power source.

LexIrie is inspired by the installation Listening Post by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin. It was originally designed to be powered by the site We Feel Fine by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar. The hardware it runs on is based on the Arduino electronics platform. A year after LexIrie was launched a similar (but not associated) product, the all-knowing Twitter orb, was demoed by Mark Frauenfelder on the Colbert Report.

When LexIrie is configured for use with Twitter updates occur every minute and it can be tuned to a faster or slower rate of updates. Used with We Feel Fine updates happen about once every five minutes. When used with Facebook it checks every five minutes for any new notifications.

The sites it accesses, the searches it does and the response to keywords found in the text can be configured for different use cases. For example, one could program it to display real time Twitter searches other keywords like ‘food’ or for certain hashtags and then pulse a color when a keyword is found in the results. More information on the design of LexIrie and configuration options can be found in the design section.

Design details

Walnut Cabinet. Custom built cabinet.

This A/V cabinet is made from two sheets of walnut veneered plywood. The design was inspired by the Housefish Key A/V cabinet. All fittings are either dovetail or press-fit. The finish is done with pure tung oil which is all natural and non-toxic but takes a couple weeks to dry between coats. This was the first project I used a router on and it was nerve racking but after careful measurements and some test cuts everything fit. The toughest part was getting the curves to match on the top and bottom pieces. My initial cuts with a jigsaw required a lot of filing and sanding to match up. The cabinet was sized to maximize use of the 4'x8' sheets and resulted in only a handful of waste wood.

Lamp. Made from steel pipe and controlled by touch.

I designed this lamp after seeing some similar products for sale for several hundred dollars and thinking I could do that myself. A trip to the hardware store and an afternoon later I had this. It's about $35 in piping, $5 in wiring and $10 for the touch controlled dimmer. The toughest part was getting the wire through all the bends in the pipe and getting the fittings tight enough.


Intelligenate is a platform for the projects of Jason Veneman who enjoys working on “stuff that matters” for both technology and society.

jason [at] intelligenate.com