SFPC Hardware Hacks

There are four weeks left at SFPC and so I'm jumping in on a few quick hardware projects. First up,  I'm playing with the 'freelancer's timer' again. The idea is a simple desktop device to keep track of your time when juggling multiple projects. You can turn two timers on and off by sliding a magnet across the surface of a wooden box. In turn, new entries are made in a google spreadsheet updating your work status.  

I'd love to have time over the next few weeks to refine this and place the hardware in a slightly more custom enclosure with a design on top that speaks to the act of switching between jobs, and responds to the magnet's possible positions.  

Another hardware project I started this morning with Gugo - who had the fun idea to make a tactile braille interface. I've had a pile of solenoids kicking around for a while and so we're finally putting them to good use.  Today we made a simple breakout for an arduino to control 6 solenoids.  The next task is to write or find a library to convert braille into binary states for six digital pins. The goal in the end would be an interface to rest your hand - some type of stretched fabric - and feel the pulses of the solenoids as they played out ones and zeros from code which parsed letters out of words and sentences.