[Spime] Distant touching

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Internet communication has not reached its limit yet: we have text, sound and video easily available. Few years ago, some people tried to develop odor extension, but I’ve not seen this really breaking through yet.

Because I need to communicate with someone, and I miss something, I was thinking about adding another sense to our internet communication: touch.

Since then, I’ve been playing with the Arduino card (see previous post), and play to connect it to an USB massage gadget. By internet, both gadget will communicate, each personn allowed to make the other gadget massaging more or less quickly.

Today I’ve discovered that Thomas Edwards has already complete his touch project!

From there, I’ve found many interesting links that will greatly help in my own project, hoping that knowledge will flow in both directions:

  • Phy2Phy: a wiki about physical interaction over IP, with lots of useful information to develop your own hardware, and because interaction is not limited to touch;
  • Touch source code and more technical information

[Electronic] Arduino board

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Wanting to do a fast electronic prototype of an idea I had last night (more description about this idea in a later postà, I discovered this morning the Arduino project.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.


What to do with it?

It’s basicly the Processing.org wet dream:

  • You make and verify you program in Processing (or similar IDE from Arduino)
  • You connect your board to your computer via USB and send the program to it
  • You disconnect it, find any external power source (batterie or plugged), and you app is running on a small hardware machine

Now you can add enough outputs (led, motor, …) and inputs (switches, potentio-meter, …) to make any physical hack. Smaller version of the board are also available!

And Berlin is the best place to live to get this working, everything is available in shops, and this one was particulary cheap: 27€

How to install it?

This board is working on Windows/Linux/Mac platform, but I had some difficulties to make it really plug&play on my Mac. Follow Gck instructions on Arduino forum if you have some problems too.

[Berlin] Streetart walk

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First day walking in Berlin, looking for a bike shop, and finally finding one nice white in a Kreuzberg shop with a frog as emblem, looking for british people to get the joke.

Lots of photos during this trip, mostly of streetart, well mixing with a quote from Florian Hufski blog:

Modern street art is the product of a generation tired of growing up with a relentless barrage of logos and images being thrown at their head every day, and much of it is an attempt to pick up these visual rocks and throw them back.
Society’s headlong march into bland conformity should not necessarily be welcomed with such openarms.

Streetart mosaic

  1. Falling bomber
  2. Giant head
  3. Sun
  4. Zoom on sky
  5. Flying head
  6. Indian chef
  7. Red guy
  8. No hands, no problems
  9. Mashu^

Mapping 3 days in Berlin

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Berlin walkingGoogle Maps has made it really easy to draw lines on its interface, that’s good to keep a small walking-log of last few days in Berlin.
The city is gigantic, it’s a tiring experience urban-hiking all day long (make me remember Paris before I got my skating shoes) and I’ll switch to bike in next days (or next summer) to discover the city further.

Mixing Google Maps KML output and Google Earth, you can obtain the superposition showed on the picture. Today, it takes a bit of time to point all the way on the map, it sure could be helped by some GPS tech, and some GeoRSS from Flickr, or PicasaWeb, would help a lot to show the photos taken during the trip.
GPS + Camera hacks already exists today, and I hope it would become mainstream in near future (less than 2 years).

Some links:

Budget Tips for Berlin

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Can be really expensive if not really well planned, as everything else.

  • single: 2.1€
  • daily: 5.8€
  • weekly: 25€

Credit Cards

They are not working everywhere (only shops), it’s better to have cash in the wallet all the time.

Life tips

Beers and eating-out are really cheap.
At disco, when you take a bottle drink, they’ll give you a token. Bring it back with the empty bottle to get your deposit back.

23rd Chaos Communication Congress

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23c3 LogoChaos Computer Club is organizing one of these great hacking congress just kilometers away from my holiday paradise. The temptation to spend a wandering day there has reached a peak last night, but I’ll have a better time staying with Chris and getting numeric feedbacks (blogs, podcasts, …) from the show.

Link to event info.

la suite…