KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Makers from around the heartland are gathering in Kansas City this weekend at the 6th Annual Maker Faire at Union Station.
There are about 1000 inventors at the Maker Faire and they are showing, and often selling, their new inventions.
FOX 4's Carey Wickersham caught up with a Wichita man who has created a touch light that uses wifi to let loved ones know you are thinking of them.
John Harrison's invention, called Filimins, connect family members across the miles.
"They are decorative touch lights. They connect families and loved ones," Harrison said. "It's a way of just saying 'I'm thinking of you' that goes beyond text or email. Some families aren't comfortable with texting or emails. For example, if you are a young kid or an older grandparent, it can be hard to connect in those ways, so this is a way that people can feel connected and feel the warmth in their environment."
And Harrison's invention is also helping out a good cause.
"We assemble them them in Wichita by the Women's Initiative Network. Its a non-profit that helps women in abusive situations transition to independence in the work force," Harrison explained. "I work with the women on a daily basis and its been an incredible personal growth experience for me to learn about the lives of these women and to help them develop some employable skills."
The lights can be a neat addition to any room, but for the women helping to make them, they can be a small source of comfort.
"A lot of times they are separated from their families during their recovery so they are able to use these lights. They turn all different colors. You can pick the color that associates with you or your sister or daughter and connect with them like this everyday," Harrison said.
Filimins run about $60 each and are available at the Maker Faire all weekend, or online at Filimin.com.
There are a lot of different things to see at Maker Faire, from designers to engineers, from scientists to Star Wars characters, from farmers to Steam Punk enthusiasts, there is something for everyone.
The big parade gives just a glimpse of all that Maker Faire has to offer.