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Tag Archives: arduino

Shopaholics: Smart Handbag Seals Itself To Prevent Overspending


You’re out at the mall, and suddenly you spot it: 50% off on everything! Oh, sure, you don’t really need yet another set of beed sheets, but it would be stupid not to get them now, right? At 50% off, it’s almost as if you’re being paid to buy them! Yeah well… if that’s the kind of logic that has put your finances in the gutter, maybe you’ll find a bit of help in technology. The iBag is a purse that contains an Arduino board, a GPS chip, and a locking mechanism which confers it a host of potentially money-saving abilities.

As soon as you enter your shopping ‘danger zone’ the bag lights up with a LED light warning signal that’s triggered by a GPS chip. If you decide to ignore this and make a purchase, the bag will track your wallet being taken out and send an SMS to your nominated ‘responsible other’ to let them know you’ve had a spending relapse.

You may think that although these features are great, they’re only a deterrent and won’t actually stop you from making a purchase, so there’s also a real-time clock which locks the bag during vulnerable spending times during the day.

Listen, we realize this sounds demeaning to women. The idea of having a “responsible person” that can come and save the day, coupled with the fact that the iBag is a purse and not a man’s wallet can seem a bit sexist. The company addresses this by informing us that a man’s version can also be made, but their research “has shown them” that women exhibit this type of behaviour more often than men. We haven’t seen the research, so we’re not going to comment either way. Their intentions are in the right place, if maybe their messaging is a bit off. It’s not even a commercially available product yet, though it will be for $200 if enough people express their interest in it. You have to leave your email address on their site to do so.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

Personal Energy Orb Makes You Cycle Before You Can Use Your PC

Spending ungodly amounts of time in sitting in front of a PC is bad for you. Mkay? But yeah, you’re lazy, we get it, so as always technology comes to the rescue. Developed by two students at the University of Munich for a physical computing course, the Personal Energy Orb is an Arduino-based device that keeps track of how much you’ve cycled, and rewards your efforts by letting you use your computer properly. An LED-filled orb is attached to your handlebars, while a revolution counter keeps track of distance traveled. The more you pedal, the more the orb shifts to green. Come back home with a fully green orb and you can use your PC normally. A red orb on the other hand means that Windows will set the mouse sensitivity to its lowest setting, annoying the heck out of you until you decide to either throw the whole thing in the garbage, or actually go outside for some activity.

Considering it’s a school project, the two students were happy to see that it did in fact work, though it wasn’t without its occasional hiccups, mostly battery related. As for commercialization, there doesn’t seem to be any clears plans for that.

PEO – Personal Energy Orb from Janko Hofmann on Vimeo.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Tworse Key Lets You Send Your Tweets In Morse Code

By David Ponce

Ok, so your tweets will appear in actual letters, but you will have composed them using Morse code, and that’s where the cool part is. It’s cool of course only because it’s redundant, inefficient and arcane, but in a geeky, satisfying manner. One Martin Kaltenbrunner created this device and he likes to call it an exercise in interface archaeology. In other words, it’s the study of just what happens when you try to mate the old and the new via invented interfaces. The Tworse Key device contains an Arduino brain and other electronics which enable this conversation between communications circa The Titanic and communications circa Justin Bieber. Just plug the machine into an Ethernet port, dust off your Morse skills and you’re good to go.

Best part is that if you posses tinkering skills, the schematics are available for you to make your own.

[ Tworse Key Schematics ] VIA [ Geekosystem ]

Posture Suspenders Jolt You When You Start To Slouch

By David Ponce

Sadly, it’s not a jolt of electricity but rather a more gentle vibration that discreetly points out that you’re standing in a less than optimal manner. This is bad for you as it can cause aches, can damage your heart and lungs, and lead to gastrointestinal issues. So now a pair of suspenders specially modified with conductive elastics, an Arduino Pro Mini, a battery, and said vibrator all combine to create an on-the-fly posture corrector. The sensor fabric changes its electric resistance as it stretches and the software continually monitors this, encouraging you to maintain the right tension, which is associated with the right posture.

There appears to be a crude prototype at the moment, though we’re finding no signs of a price or availability.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]