Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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LED Balloon

H.A.P.P.Y ... Inside the party balloons
  [vote for,

Integrate microcircuitry and LED elements into a flat polymer surface and cover the surface with latex. The latex would pull out the polymer to a very flat plane and, by inflation with Helium, would make a rounded cover for the polymer plane.
The fun is the flashing message that would appear inside the balloon. G.E.T .. W.E.L.L .. S.O.O.N !. !. Weight it with a small battery, PIC, and string it up.
reensure, Oct 19 2000

(?) E-writer (LED frisbee) http://shopping.dis...07-1426-169029.html
What Ander saw. (We all know the clock, right?) I'd be worried that that edge hurts you when you catch it. Someone should market the ROPOD below as an attachment to bicycle and car wheels! [jutta, Oct 19 2000]

ROPOD http://www.ugcs.cal....edu/~sethml/ropod/
Reloated to the frisbees and clocks, but not to balloons. [egnor, Oct 19 2000]

ROPOD-like thing for bicycle wheels. http://www.nytimes....ircuits/25GEE2.html
Called "Hokey Spokes", yet another example of reality overtaking halfbakery. [Sent in by PeterSealy via e-mail. New York TImes, free registration required.] [jutta, May 01 2002]


       Could heat from the electrics be used to heat the contained gas and enhance/create bouyancy without helium?
pkyb, Oct 19 2000

       I was in a toy store a couple of weeks ago, and saw a Frisbee-type flying disk with a flat LED readout around its circumference, which you could program. I assume it included some electronic compensation for the disk's spin so the message would be legible. I kid you not.
Ander, Jan 02 2001

       It's the frisbee disk's spin that allows the message to be displayed in the first place.
egnor, Jan 03 2001

       jutta: what is there about the edge that might hurt? The LEDs only occupy a tiny portion of it.   

       I have a friend who brought the handheld version of these toys to a wedding, to congratulate the couple from afar. It kept the younger guests quite entranced.
centauri, Jan 17 2001

       [centauri], the LEDs themselves aren't a problem, but they're on a ridge that sticks out on the side -- not a very sharp edge, but still a spinning irregularity that I could imagine hurting your hand if you happen to catch it at a bad time. Does that make more sense?
jutta, Jan 18 2001

       I had to vote for this one just because of the title. As for the product, I think it will fly like a ... oh never mind.   

       Actually, I'm curious as to whether the wiring and polymer substrate with LEDs would be too heavy for a helium balloon to hold aloft. Your wire weight could be reduced if the control circuitry were mounted on the substrate behind the LEDs with minimal epoxy packaging for the chip. The battery would reside in the anchor weight, with power wires doubling as the balloon's tether.   

       You might have to limit output to a single letter at a time to keep the substrate small and lightweight. Making the message programmable seems unlikely because of the bulk and weight of added processing power, RAM, and user interface circuitry. Instead, one would have to order units with the desired message chip installed. Standard messages like "happy birthday", "we'll miss you", and "get well soon" would be mass-produced and reasonably cheap as off-the-shelf merchandise. Custom messages would be more expensive, and would require orders to be placed well in advance.
BigBrother, May 01 2002

       //Custom messages would be more expensive, and would require orders to be placed well in advance.//   

       Not necessarily, [BigBrother], if a shop sells this product and you are clever about how the components are set up, you could have a "dock" and blank balloons that can be programmed with a loader when the customer purchases a balloon. Some simple software and hardware could easily do this very quickly.
emjay, Jan 05 2007


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