“The Smuggie” is a modified Snuggie, designed specifically for those who feel the need to express their smug satisfaction with their Snuggie to their friends on Twitter. Check out how to make one in 12 fairly simple steps over at Instructables. Or, read about it elsewhere on the interwebz: The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Switched, Unplggd.Read More
Recently being faced with the task of making (or buying) a decorative cake, I decided to see if Augmented Reality could come to my rescue. I FAIL horribly at baking, and hoped this time a dash of c++ and a AR marker or two could detract attention from my poor baking/frosting skills. Being quite crunched for time, I opted for a conservative and traditional design, which included a rainbow/dolphin inhabited scene with a unicorn ridden by sad Keanu. After baking the cake, I found a simple BCH marker on the web and iced it onto the top. Any marker that has a basic enough grid structure will seem to work, just as long as there is even spacing between the blocks on the marker. The coding was fairly basic, and after a little time orienting things in 3d space, the cake was finished.
The main lesson learned is that Augmented Reality will only compensate for poor cake making skills in the right company. This cake was programmed using openFrameworks and ofxARToolkitPlus… and tasted mediocre.
“We Read, We Tweet” geographically visualizes the dissemination of New York Times articles through Twitter. Each line connects the location of a tweet to the contextual location of the New York Times article it referenced. The lines are generated in a sequence based on the time in which a tweet occurs. The project explores digital news distribution in a temporal and spatial context through the social space of Twitter. The video only shows a small portion of tweets aggregated from each article, some of which contain of corresponding Tweets.
The articles and tweets are constantly being aggregated and stored in a database, making use of the Twitter, Backtweets, Google Maps, and New York Times Articles API. Every 10 minutes, the Backtweets API is queried to find the most recent New York Times articles that have been tweeted about. For each article found, the New York Times Articles API is queried and if a contextual location is found, that location is then geocoded using the Google Maps API. Every tweet that mentions this article is also geocoded using the Google Maps API, and both the article and tweets are stored in a database. The Backtweets API was quite awesome with parsing out shortened URLs. The visualization itself was written in Java / Processing.Read More
Snoozy the Sloth is a plush toy with a respiratory system. He sleeps while clinging onto a user, allowing them to feel both the contraction and expansion of his chest, as well exhaling of air from his mouth. The main concept behind snoozy is to create an intimate, yet passive, toy interaction that relaxes and comforts a user, through the tactile experience of steady breathing patterns. Creating a system that was battery powered, and used actual air flow rather than simply faking chest movemment with a motorized system, were of main importance. Snoozy’s main internals consist:
- an arduino
- a breadboard
- 2 dc motor diaphram pumps
- a latex glove (his lung)
- 1 9v battery
- 1 12v battery
- a solenoid valve.
The circuit uses 2 TIP102 transistors to seperate the 9v going to the Arduino, and 12v going to the motors and solenoid valve. The pumps, each located in one of his legs, push air into the latex glove until it’s fully contracted. The motors then shut off, and the air is released through by solenoid valve located in his head. An located in the Snoozy’s chest, fades in and out in accordance with his breathing. The pumps seemed a bit loud at first, however the majority of user testers (aged 18-30) seemed to not mind the noise. I’m still in the process of looking for a quieter alternative (an important concern for younger users), with enough pressure to fill the latex lung.
“Snoozy The Sloth” Video
A few of the write-ups Snoozy has received: