Build the future of communications.
Start building for free

12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 1: The Texting Tree

Day1 – feature

Hello Twilio friends! In honor of that age-old tradition of giving gifts on the holidays we here at Twilio wanted to share with you some of our favorite hacks from the past year. We’re calling it the #12HacksOfChristmas. Please share with us your favorite hacks on Twitter, and happy hacking!

Oh Christmas tree…that beautifully disguised fire-starter that slowly dries up until January 1st, when it finally gets thrown out on the street to become public-restroom toilet paper. If only the darn thing did more than just sit there?! Well I am here to bring good news, because for todays #12HacksOfChristmas Will Dages explains how you can build your very own texting christmas tree.

What does it do? When you text this tree a color, all of the lights change in a cascading fashion. So stop whittling away your time, and start hacking away on your christmas tree (phrasing?).

Here is a demo of the tree in action:


When we asked Will what inspired this hack he wrote:

I wanted to be able to control some Christmas lights in a novel way. I thought if I could figure it out, it’d be something fun to take to work and leave in the cafe, or have around as a party trick for the holidays. I started by controlling it with tweets, but ran into a few problems so I switched over to using Twilio and text messages. That ended up being a great idea because it made the tree way more accessible. Not everyone has a Twitter account, but almost everyone is comfortable sending a text message. It’s been a lot of fun to see people’s reactions to the tree — lots of smiles.

Thanks for the awesome tutorial Will! And to the rest of you, until tomorrow happy hacking and happy holidays!

Sign up and start building
Not ready yet? Talk to an expert.