Pappmaskin.no : Aka Morten Skoglys nerdcave
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DIY : The picturetweeting bathroom scale (aka the worst christmas present ever)

november 30th, 2009 by

grete1

A bathroom scale is probably the last thing you would want as a christmas present. Imagine unwrapping it and trying to NOT seem insulted and hurt? Can you imagine a worse christmas present? Well, how about bathroom scales that take a picture of you, from the worst and least flattering angle, and uploads it straight to the web through Twitter and twitpic? Yes, I know, it’s a horrible idea! Which means it simply HAS to be made. So I did, or at least a working prototype!

Research – trying to find the worst angle to take the picture from!

Check out the example photos taken with the Tweeting batroom scale.

The code

The code is written in actionscript3 and compiles as an AIR app, and is largely based on the wonderful work of Rudy van der Blom which he was so kind as to share with me. He made an APP called Twicam that lets you log in to your Twitter account, snap a 320×240 picture and upload it to the web with the push of a button.

I first change the code a little and added a keylistener, that automated the image posting when you pressed a certain button (r) on the keyboard. My plan was to modify the bathroom scale and add a switch to it, and run wires from the switch to a usb keyboard emulator. I sent that version to Rudy, and then he made a version that was motion triggered, which ment that no wires where necessary. Gold! He also added a cycler that made a grid consisting of four 160×120 images. I then increased the size of the final image to 640×480, and made a small change so that the app only posted a new image after the fourth grid had filled up (instead of every time a new grid was filled), and that is what the code is like now. A work in progress for sure, and I was so much fun to work with Rudy on this. Cool guy!

Code sharing

Rudy has agreed that we can share the code with anyone who want’s it, and I will try to find time to clean it up a little and upload it here. Rudy want’s to make and AIR installer for the motion triggered version and share it from his AIR app site. So stay tuned. Leave your info in the comments below if you want to be notified when the code is online!

Improvements

I have a bug in the code that makes the image uploaded to Twitpic «off» compared to what you see on the screen when the app is running, so that needs to be fixed. I also want to add the manual switch I think, so that the software only sends pictures when someone is actually standing on the scales. The motion trigger seems a little unpredictable and slow, at least it eats almost all my macbook memory for some reason. A manual switch and a key listener would make the result smoother and more predictable, but the drawback is that you need alot more hardware to set it up.

Other uses

The motiontriggered webcam is of course a very affordable security solution with free storage on the web, and can be used for just about anything. But I also made a Twittering christmas calendar, that takes a picture of the «thief» if she opens the day in her calendar too early. It’s still just a prototype, but here are some pictures that might give you an idea on how it works.

lars


Posted in DIY, Tekno

Four ideas I believe in

mai 2nd, 2008 by

PhotonQ-Woman 's Thoughts aKa Complex Memetics
photo credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE

Readwriteweb wrote a post a few days ago about the lack of some New New Ideas for web startups, which I commented on. I wrote down a few old ideas I wish someone would like (and then steal):

photo credit: Whatsername?

1. Anything that uses the web to connect people to each other in a physical location

Everybody Deserves A Quickie

Any service that makes it as easy to approach people on the street etc as it is on Twitter or Facebook. There are heaps of services that touches on this field, but not many that works or have enough members to make it work. So maybe there is room for a service that connects it all, and shows you on a mobile map where people who are open to «hellos» are. It could be a facebook app (facebook has 1 million members in Norway, of 4.7 million inhabitants). Your mobile phone would simply broadcast itself with a «hello, talk to me» to a google map and perhaps bluetooth. A cross between facebook, twitter and friendfeed, but with the purpose of connecting physical beings in a physical location.

three thumbs down
photo credit: rick

2. A web based service that lets you record video from any television channel.

It makes no sense for everyone to own their own PVR/TIVO/Mediacenter and record to disk at home, when you could do it sentralized and distribute it with bittorrent. The business model is like this: 10 gb storage for free, if you are too lazy to delete, or simply want to keep things online longer, you pay extra. Everything you program to record is automatically downloaded to your harddrive if you want to. The gold: You get access to EVERY channel on the planet. I wanted to create this in 1998, but never got around to it, so you can have that idea for free :)

3. 24/7 live streaming video from your mobile device, with a twist (object identification)

Livestreaming from a cellphone is not new, it exists today, but here is the twist: 1) a small sensor analyses your brain-response to what you see or hear, and anything that creates an «unusual» reponse is indexed and flagged for later. 2) it also has a built in visual «thesaurus» (think wikipedia meets The Terminator), that can look up information on your surroundings in semi-realtime. So if you wanted to know whether or not to eat that delicious-looking red mushroom with the white dots, the system could advise you not to.

Did you know that American kids can identify 1000 products before they start school, but only know the name of 10 local plants (according to the movie «The 11th hour«)?

4. A google earth for the body

Read more about «A google earth for the body» here

Posted in Ideas, Web2.0, Webdev