arduino targa

Arduino Targa - man at work II

Italy is the origin of my beloved arduino-board. So it seemed natural to me to place it into an agile sports car when I had to make up a project for the metal workshop course. It is designed as a cabrio alluding to the relaxed Italian attitude.
The goal of the class led by Martin Ziegler was to learn the basic handling of all necessary tools and gain some experience in working with metal.


real floggings for virtual network

punchingball as found on

For recent and recurring reasons I started to think about a “VPN bashing module” for our Master-Room in the fhp.

The vpn-client that became our only and obligatory access to the internet seems to have its own intelligence that acts according to plans beyond human understanding (maybe extraterrestrial). Every now and then he chooses a deliberate candidate to kick out of the network, sometimes followed by periods of denials to all attempts of reconnecting.

This is not only undermining the belief in the predictabilty and determination of technology but is also really making us mad and breaking up the holy work-flow. As the resulting aggression has to find a way out and is better deflected from the other inhabitants, a punching ball might serve that purpose. With some sensors built in and a computer with AutoHotkey running, a procedure to initate a reconnect should be easily available.

Plus: If vpn doesn’t reconnect at once one can keep punching the ball (really hard). Some other applications for that interaction principle might come to your mind as well.


the button code

Just for the record: This code will drive our arduino boards (two of them and yes! they are connected AND talking!).

It took Larissa and me quite some time and a lot more nerves. And Tomek, too! He spent hours with us on ICQ altruisticly, even got his two Arduinos out of the box and gave us the right hints finally – by remote!
So we learnt a lot. Most important: With two communicating Boards, never forget to connect the grounds. Always remember.

The code for the geeks:


proceed: your mobile making friends

As my phone might collect quite a lot of IDs (though the option to switch it off should exist), for the simple reason that I meet a lot of people, it could easily become a large database with no meaning. So some more contextual information will help to determine the kind of contact:

. . .

scenario: your mobile making friends

mobilefriends screenshot mov: 3.9 mb

Why not use your mobile phone to keep track of your social network? Why not remove the splitting into a virtual network online and your every day meeting of people in “real life”? Isn’t it all the same?


Use your head

Thomas Riisgaard Hansen Eva Eriksson Andreas Lykke-Olesen 2006

Use your Head at work

Tracking lässt sich gut benutzen, um eine Position in einem bekannten Raum zu bestimmen. Ist der Raum völlig neu (zumindest für die Tracking-Software) wird es schon schwieriger. Dabei gibt es bei Mobiltelefonen immer eine fixe Größe, die zur Verfügung steht: Das Gesicht des Benutzers.
paper bei ACM


Nearfield Communication

NFC Forum (Philips/NXP Sony Nokia u.a.) 2003
Nokia 3220 with RFID snapped on

Das Mobiltelefon haben wir immer dabei, aber wie kann es uns vor Ort helfen? NFC macht einen Ort und viele andere Dinge für das Telefon über RFID direkt lesbar – und umgekehrt. Damit wird das vielbeschworene Internet der Dinge ein weiteres Stück Realität.
Ein ausführlicherer Test findet sich auf elasticspace


Tablet Stitching

by Ken Hinckley et al., Microsoft Research, 2004
Tablet Stitchin Scheme

Especially with mobile phones you have to struggle with the rather tiny screens. This problem can be solved: together! All you need are touch enabled devices, which can be combined via a sending and a receiving gesture. You could also imagine a cell phone showing its photos via a nearby tabletPC and so on.
Paper at Microsoft Research



Oren Horev 2006

the TactoPhone

Das TactoPhone aus Ivrea

Hunderte von kleinen Nägeln ergeben eine verformbare Fläche, die Informationen fühlbar machen können, ohne hinzusehen. Die sonst nur auf dem Bildschirm dargestellten Interaktionsmöglichkeiten (z.B. Links, Buttons) können damit endlich auch eine physische Entsprechung bekommen.




An einem ganz alltäglichen Morgen schält man sich aus dem Bett, um in die Uni zu laufen. Das ist ganz normal, alle machen das, vor allem alle in einer WG. Doch nur einer kann als erster im Bad sein. Und da hätten die anderen dann doch auch liegen bleiben können. Genau hier hilft wecken&waschen: Ist die Dusche belegt, lässt einen der Wecker noch etwas schlummern.