WWU Graduate Invents the WavyWand

Adriaan Smit Creates a Wand that Displays Messages Mid-Air

By: Hilary Nieland

The WavyWand in action.

Walla Walla University graduate, Adriaan Smit, is the co-inventor of the WavyWand, an electronic device that when waved back and forth, displays messages, signs, and animations in the air. Each device has 48 LEDs and a motion sensor that measures the movement while a computer calculates when each LED needs to be lit in order to draw pictures in mid-air.

Smit got the idea for the WavyWand after attempting to make a device which would display messages on bicycle wheels as they turned. He later realized the potential of having a similar, hand-held device which could be brought to sporting events, concerts, and 4th of July and New Year’s celebrations.

Born in Potchefstroom, South Africa, Smit graduated from WWU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He later earned a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Oregon State University in 2004. Smit says “I loved the hands-on experience I got at Walla Walla. I found it was not common amongst other engineering programs to walk away with practical understanding of how the theory applies. The ability to design and build cool things during our labs pushed the door wide open for me to dream up new and fascinating products.” He currently works as an engineer for Intel and consults with Green Sky Ventures on product development projects.

Smit is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the WavyWand. He is seeking to raise $50,000 to support a design update and the setting up of manufacturing lines. For more information, follow the links below.




Published June 21, 2013

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