When I got it, I let it sit around for a week or so while I debated attaching it. I wish it had silkscreen labels on both sides, and I wish the myriad pads were labeled at all. Given all that is missing, I was a little hesitant to hook it up at risk of hooking it up wrong, especially since there were no documents included.
However, it worked like magic right out of the gate.
The next disappointment was that there were only three patterns, and only one of them was attractive. The default NeoPixel demo set is more impressive. But, what I had originally missed is that Blinkytape is not just the board. Blinkytape is just a tiny client to the whole BlinkinLabs' ecosystem. This little board really opens up once you install "Patternpaint" https://blinkinlabs.com/patternpaint which lets you carefully craft those three patterns to your needs. Again, a small intro sheet would have helped, here.
Finally, the last disappointment is that it is only intended to be used as part of their ecosystem. If you had hoped that you could easily replace their firmware and use the included button for what you want and maybe do programmatic colors instead of pre-recorded patterns, well... this product does not have you in mind. I haven't seen documentation of the formats or protocols, or figured out if you can drop this into Arduino and start experimenting.
I've seen no capabilities of doing external triggering or sync. It's just three recorded animations that you manually select with a button.
So, I'm kind of torn on it. I think their pre-made BlinkyTape is probably an excellent product. I think their Patternpaint software is revolutionary. I am happy that they offer this product up, and I would like to keep a few more around to quickly enable some NeoPixels that are sitting idle on the workbench.
But what I actually wanted was a Digispark- or Trinket-like Arduino-compatible experimenters board, designed for use with NeoPixels. I wanted an AVR, USB, button, power, and three pins positioned for attaching to a NeoPixel chain. This could be that, but is trying really hard to not be.
Response from Blinkinlabs | May 10, 2021
Hi Michael, Thank you for your comment. Hope below link will help you. You don't really need to use pattern paint for program. https://blinkinlabs.com/blinkytape Regards, Honghong
These 8 X 8 Blinky's are amazing. I absolutely love them. The programming is memorizing. Very well packaged and shipped. You will love these. I will order more as gifts.
Response from Blinkinlabs | Feb. 16, 2021
Dear Kevin, Thank you for your orders. Hope you enjoy the blinkies. If you have any problems please feel free to contact us by email or visit our company website forum https://blinkinlabs.com/ . The current blinkies work with our pattern paint software and also if you want to write your software, you can refer to our github https://github.com/Blinkinlabs/EightByEight and Twosigma https://github.com/twosigma/blinky