We’re hosting MKE UX (Milwaukee User Experience) *CANCELLED*

Update: Due to some unforeseen events, tonight MKEUX is cancelled. It will be rescheduled for a later date at our space. Thanks!

Mike Massie will be presenting on an intro to Ambient Intelligence and how sensors can give the user super powers.

“As shrinking technology allows us to cheaply put hardware eyes, ears and touch sensors on everyday things, the data now readily available can offer a magnitude of information without the user even lifting a finger. Some are calling 2013 the “Year of the sensor”, and it giving passage to the Internet of Things and Big Data; aside from buzz terms we’ll talk about how these tools will offer the ability for more interactions to get out of the way.”

When: 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Monday, May 20th, 2013
Participants: Mike Massie (Host)
Info: http://mkeux.com/
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/454981001262166/

I’m gone but my empty cube can tell you where I am

 

marcopi

A while back, Jason G. and I were talking about notifying coworkers when working out of alternative campuses, coffee shops or being in the office but just away from the desk. Empty desks give you no story beyond looking for clues like a missing jacket, bag, etc. We thought it would be fun to use an Arduino to update a small display on our desk with a message to where we were. Jason set out to build the backend – using Google Latitude on our phones he could update a web server which also let us create geo-fences around map locations that would trigger an output during work hours. We called it Marco… get it?

The prototype worked, but I was struggling with half of my part, the physical object – screen sizes sucked, wi-fi v cable, and I couldn’t get it in the footprint that I wanted it.

The other piece that was bothering me was that, during a little research, roughly ~90% of the empty desks around me had an orphaned monitor. Most every empty desk had a blank monitor and I was toiling with a display problem… enter Raspberry Pi. Now the idea is to take over that monitor when the users are away. Most external monitors that we had offered multiple inputs, so a simple tap on the input button and Marco can display anything we’d like from our base of geo trap triggered messages, foursquare check-ins to even displaying a message that we text to it – “Elvis has left the building” [send]

 

*UPDATE* – Thanks to circulating this around with fellow Maker’s Pete and Vishal, we’ll explore using a passive IR sensor to wake the display when there is activity in front of it to save on screen and energy use.

Pegman Vacation Pics

Google Streetview’s “Pegman” travels the world posting pics of cities and their streets, but never of himself… these are the albums of his personal vacation pics.

Picture

I finally completed building the wood version of this little guy (~11″). The wood I used was just some scraps around the shop and, unfortunately, is out of some pretty soft stuff at that. Poor guy is already suffering from some dents and is only a week or two old. Since we added a Aluminum Casting Night at the space, the next build will be slightly smaller and much tougher. End goal is to make a tough portable version to pack away on trips to rival the overdone Amelie traveling Gnome.

Rebuilding a family heirloom w/ 3D Printing – Tuning Peg half is complete

I had the opportunity to finally get a few prototype prints completed for my Violin reconstruction, and it looks like we have a winner. I’m actually printing the pegs in halves so that I don’t have to use scaffolding to prop up the uneven build.

What is original in the Violin is the body, neck and one(1) tuning peg. The rest will be scanned and printed in white to be placed on the violin. I intentionally will be using a pop color (white in this test run) to not obfuscate what was original and what’s filling in the full picture – You know, like how museums fill in the missing bones of dinosaur skeletons.

Stern Pinball Factory Tour

This gallery contains 19 photos.

Just outside of Chicago, IL in a quite little industrial park lies a piece of entertainment history – the Stern Pinball Factory. Yesterday, the Milwaukee Makerspace and friends were invited to take a tour into the World’s last remaining Pinball Factory. It’s truly impressive to see the process from stringing up and average of 1 mile […]

Android Blue or iOS Purple? Update on the OOMA project

The Object Of My Affection Lamp   I thought I would jump in and blog on my current progress at the Makerspace with a lamp called OOMA, or The Object Of My Affection. It’s a lamp that is shaped like a GPS Navigation pin that rotates to always points toward the one you love… as long as they allow you access to their Google Latitude account :). I am finalizing hardware designs and now moving into writing the software and how it talks to the Internet.

Initially I would have waived it off as using WiFi, or Ethernet, but work on another project (Marco) has illuminated several obstacles over multiple use cases (configuring Wi-Fi, closed networks, IP addresses); instead I think the approach will be to opt over USB (via Arduino Leonardo). I figure, if people will load up a coffee cup heater or foam missile launcher to USB, than there is no issue with port scarcity.

It’s not a lamp without light, and at some point OOMA will light up in either Android Blue, or iPhone Purple. Lighting the lamp will, however, have to relegated to a v.2 build, due to some complexity in the diffusion of light in such a cramped space. Additionally, I’d like to investigate EL panels to light it up.

Finally, I am coming up on the decision to be a DIY offering, or to design it to be marketable - do I build as a one off and just offer the blueprints to others or build an end-to-end consumer solution complete with potentially an NFC tag to tap and pair a user and their lamp.

Laser’s so bright, we gotta make shades

Now that we have the laser cutting wood with a decent thickness and summer on the way – it seemed the perfect time to start pumping out some fashionable eyewear for those bright summer days.

The first draft of some glasses were cut this weekend with a surprising level of success. Although this draft fits somewhere between a small and medium, a few tweaks and I think we will have it dialed in just right. Additionally, the burn gives the frames a nice edge and color.

Next up: Cutting and inserting some lenses and attaching hinges. We will also definitely look to staining a pair and burning in patterns/textures into another as future options.

The working file is available for download on Thingiverse

 

 

 

Adding NFC to a photo to share the experience

I ordered a bag of some NFC tags to play around with allowing objects to tell more of a story. I placed one behind a wedding gift from close friends on our wedding day in Copenhagen. I programmed the NFC tag to invoke Google Street view and thru the device the user is able to see exactly what we saw, in the exact location where the photo was taken. It definitely added a new layer of depth to the photo and allowed others to share in our experience.

Here is a quick video of this NFC tag works with an NFC enabled smart phone (Google Nexus S)