In all my playing around with arduinos and raspberrypis, I haven’t really gotten into wearables. But for some reason this color sensor just seems totally cool. And then I get drawn to the lux sensor and the GPS module and accelerometer and well just about all of it. I don’t really have a great idea what to do with it — maybe tie it into OneBusAway and have something light up with the bus is near, time and gps wise?
“A nice article”:http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/11/to-eat-or-be-eaten.html from @mikeloukides that extends on the “software is eating the world” idea, and talks about how the world is eating software. Programmable behaviour is getting stuffed into everything, and the trend is just going to accelerate.
I’ve got a pile of computers on my desk right now — Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, Beaglebones. They just keep getting cheaper. And faster. And lower power. And re-imagined in new form factors — go look at the number of Arduino variants you can buy. And I’ve got a pile of super cheap sensors on my desk — cameras, audio, pressure, temperature, humidity, IR, you name it. Computing and sensing is getting so cheap, it is going to be embedded everywhere — and not just in the obvious places, but in objects made of “fabric or paper or wood”:http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=3794, or in “plastics”:http://www.3ders.org//articles/20121122-printing-electronic-sensors-using-low-cost-3d-printers.html. This last one is really fascinating, combining 3d prototyping and electronic behavior, I can’t wait to play around with this.
And the world is getting more capability to build these devices. Prototyping with 3d printers. Funding bootstrapping by Kickstarter and its ilk (for example “circuits.io”:http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/11/28/circuits-io-kickstarter-like-electronics-funding-raspberry_pi-robotic-shield-on-launch/). Easy sourcing via services like “Maker’s Row”:http://makersrow.com.
Exciting times. I got involved with personal computers because I was excited about bringing computing power to everyone. This next wave of bringing computing power into everything seems even more exciting.
A random collection of links I’ve noticed in the past month or so, need to follow up on most of these.
* “APDuino.org”:http://apduino.org/. Standard software for managing an arduino fully populated with sensors. Feel like arduino hw and sw ought to evolve to include more sensor capability by default
* “Understanding coin cell limitations”:http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/11/15/ee-bookshelf-understanding-coin-cell-limitations/. Great stuff. Batteries are behaviourly way more complex than you would like.
* “Voice modifier shield for arduino”:http://learn.adafruit.com/wave-shield-voice-changer/overview. I have a “Boss VT-1”:http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=414 which is ridiculously pricey, I would love to have a bunch of cheaper alternatives
* “ARM-powered Arduinos coming”:http://hackaday.com/2012/10/03/finally-an-arm-powered-arduino/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day%29
* “GPS for power tools”:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/computer-precision-for-power-tools-novelties.html?_r=0. Interesting. In not too long we will just describe to our power tools what we want done, and let the tool do all the decision making.
* “Kickstarter sensor projects”:http://postscapes.com/internet-of-things-and-kickstarter. I’m tempted to buy one of each
* “USB analog gauge”:http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/09/18/usb-analog-gauge/. I have a ton of old gauges, they are beautiful, this is exactly why I bought them.
* “Fritzing”:http://fritzing.org/. I need to understand Fritzing more deeply.
* “Reactive LED light panels”:http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2012/octomods/. I love these things tho I have no practical use for them.
* “PureVLC”:http://purevlc.com/. Making every LED light a router.
Rich and I had a great evening geeking out at “Metrix Create Space”:http://metrixcreatespace.com/ in Capitol Hill last night. We attended the Intro to Arduino class and had a blast wiring things up, playing with the Arduino IDE, and absorbing the maker vibe. I’d love to follow up and take the E-textiles course they have coming up, because that just sounds cool, what could go wrong with electricity and computers embedded in your clothing?
I totally love the maker revolution. My desk right now is covered with Arduinos, sensors, Raspberry Pis, LEDs, and all the other desiderata of modern hobbyist electronics. Awesome stuff.
A few years ago when I was very active in Halloween decorating, I used the “Basic Stamp”:http://www.parallax.com/ for prop control. This is still a solid product and you can still buy a lot of stamp-based kits and products.
So I’ve ordered a handful of test kits from “Adafruit”:http://adafruit.com/, “Sparkfun”:http://www.sparkfun.com/ and “Maker Shed”:http://www.makershed.com/Arduinos_Accessories_s/43 seem to have a lot of nice products too.
“Arduino programming”:http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/HomePage is C-like which seems like a bit of a step back, I wish I could use something more like Python.