Future Poi by Moodhoops Review
I’ve spent some time now playing with both the Future Poi Lites as well as Future Poi Remote and I’m gonna cover how they operate, how they feel, and give a brief overview of pros and cons for these.
So first and foremost a little bit of an overview: Future Poi are Moodhoops’s entry into the steadily growing LED strip poi market. The theory behind these and every set of LED strip poi are that they take advantage of the persistence of vision effect for human sight to create cool and colorful patterns out of the trails we create as poi spinners by rapidly changing the brightness, color, and which LEDs along the strip are lit up at any given moment.
For both the Future Poi Remote as well as Lite, you control the poi with a single button located underneath the end cap of the poi. Pressing it once turns the poi on and pressing it again turns the poi back off. Each time you turn the poi on, they cycle through the modes available on poi to allow you to choose which mode you want to use.
There are a couple unique things that Moodhoops has done that make these a little different from other LED strip poi out there on the market.
First is that they have distributed the weight such that it is concentrated down at the end of the poi like it would be with most other practice or fire sets.
The second is that with the Future Poi Remote, the poi come with a remote control that allows more flexible control over the modes, colors, and brightness of the poi.
These modes range from displaying simple line-based and monochromatic patterns to more complicated 8-bit imagery all the way up to rainbow modes that take advantage of the fully length of the poi at all times.
So what about the remote? Using the remote, you can cycle through the lighting mode, brightness, set a tempo for how rapidly the poi shift through patterns, and access saved patterns on the poi.
So at first I’d assumed that it was for changing modes on the poi during a performance on the fly but soon discovered that it’s easy for a poi to wind up in a spot where the remote can’t reach it and things get super weird because the two poi will be out of sync.
I found that if conditions were good and there was a direct line of sight, I could change modes on the poi from up to 25 feet away.
Despite the remote being of limited use for changing lighting modes during a live performance, I actually like this approach to getting more functionality out of the poi without requiring crazy combinations of button presses to get the patterns you want.
So how do the poi feel? I will say without hesitation that these are the closest thing to a normal weight distribution and feel that I’ve ever experienced with a set of LED strip poi.
Unlike every other pair I’ve played with, I didn’t have to do any adjustment to compensate for the poi being too light or distributing the weight to widely along the length of the strip. I can do all my normal tech with these except for gunslingers for obvious reasons, but all of my crazy hybrids and antibrids are a perfect fit for these.
As a test, I ran the Future Poi Lites for a day to see what kind of battery life I could get out of them. I actually stuck them in the back seat on a road trip so I could see when they konked out. It took 8 hours for them to finally die out. I had reached my destination and was starting to get worried that I’d have to get to work before they’d finally go out.
So let’s get into pros and cons.
Pros: the weight distribution on these is perfect--I’ve never been able to bust out my full range of poi tech with strip poi before I got ahold of these. For me at least, this is a really big deal and something I can’t emphasize enough how awesome it feels.
For the Future Poi Remote, the remote control is actually a great solution for unlocking all the different options available for these poi without requiring a code book to understand the arcane combinations of button presses necessary to use them.
Now let’s get into cons.
First it should be said that these have the lowest resolution of any set of strip poi on the market that I’m aware of. All of the patterns are basically 8-bit graphics and you can sometimes clearly see the gaps in the patterns between neighboring LEDs.
Next, you may have noticed that I haven’t talked at all about software or programming these yet and that’s because there isn’t any. The patterns you can work with are more or less the ones that come included on these poi. You can set them to shift at a given tempo or be brighter or dimmer, but you cannot program in a custom image.
Lots of us who use LED strip poi regularly do so for corporate gigs where clients are expecting to get their logos or some other custom imagery programmed into your poi. You cannot do that with these, I’m afraid. If you’re roving or just adding ambience they may be a good fit, but anything more substantial and you’ll need a different set of poi.
Overall, I love spinning with these. They feel so comfortable and so much like my practice poi that spinning with them really brings out an awesome combination of my favorite tech and beautiful trails. The biggest flaw in them is the lack of programmability. Great for play on your own or corporate gigs where they don’t need custom motifs in your poi.
Future Poi Remotes are available for $349 and Future Poi Lite are available for $199 at Moodhoops.com. Quick point to clarify: only the Future Poi Remote comes with the remote control. The Future Poi Lite do not and can only have their modes changed by pressing the button on the end of the poi.
Thanks so much to Moodhoops for sending me these to review!