Posted on

Lava® Lamps for Encryption

Photos by Dani Grant –

Tech security company Cloudflare, based in San Francisco, CA, has created a whole new and important way to use Lava® lamps. The company is taking advantage of the unpredictable flow of Lava® lamps act as a random number generator to encrypt information that goes in and out of the office.

An article published on the explains the process and reason behind Cloudflare’s “Wall of Entropy.”

Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince says, “Cloudflare turns the “Wall of Entropy” into encryption using a camera that photographs the wall every millisecond of every day of the year. Any one of the company’s systems can turn the display of pixels–which changes based on a multitude of factors, like the movement of the lava, the inclusion of anyone who’s walking by, and the shifting daylight–into random numbers. “Any tiny change in that photograph creates a completely random new set of inputs. Because you can’t predict exactly what that wall of lava lamps looks like in any point in time, 10% of the internet is more difficult for somebody to hack or spy on.”

Throwing dice is how Prince likes to think about adding new random number generator types to Cloudflare’s mix. The lava lamp wall is another set of dice that happens to demonstrate to its customers how encryption works–and also looks great in its office. According to John Graham-Cumming, Cloudflare’s CTO, the lava lamp wall generates 16,384 bits of entropy each time it is used.

Lava® lamps are a clever way to engage customers when they visit Cloudflare’s offices, make the company’s often opaque services a little more tangible. They are also a way to demonstrate what they are doing behind the scenes.

Check out these lava lamps on our website and create your own wall of entropy! Or just a cool, flowing wall!