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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:

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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!

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