Mechanical Twitter feed for offline reading

mechanical_twitter_feed

Twitter can be a great tool for keeping up to date with your favorite person/company/band/etc. You can find a Twitter client for just about anything that plugs in these days, but sometimes we find that we simply need a break from our computers and smart phones – even if just for a few minutes. What happens when you want to unplug, but still need to know what everyone is up to?

[Patrick Dinnen] asked himself the same thing, and decided that the solution was a mechanical Twitter feed display. The display consists of a static user list strung up against the wall, with a mobile speech bubble mounted next to it. The bubble moves to the user who has most recently updated their status (presumably using a pair of servos), and uses a projector to display their messages. The effect is pretty neat, and it still allows you to get your Twitter fix without staring blankly at your computer screen or smart phone.

We think it would be even cooler if it used a projector on both sides, enabling it to dynamically shuffle through users and status messages at the same time. [Patrick] says that for right now it is merely a proof of concept, so there is no telling how he’ll tweak it going forward.

Continue reading to see his mechanical Twitter feed in action.

[via Adafruit]

Comments

  1. ThunderBird says:

    Maybe the speech bubble could use epaper. It would add complexity to driving it, but maybe it would be cheaper in the long run.

    Just my two cents…

  2. Sariel says:

    i fail to see how this gets you away from the computer and twitter. great hack, but just isn’t what its supposed to be. in a world where twitter and facebook invades your myspace, it’s hard to unplug yourself.

  3. Dominic49 says:

    Why 2 servos? just 1 is needed

  4. fartface says:

    A real mechanical twitter feed would be one of those old Stock ticker tapes from the 20’s click away spewing the inane tweets….

    That would be cool.

  5. zengar says:

    From the title, I was expecting a flip-disc or split-flap display. Since it’s twitter, with the character limit, I’d think that it’s almost perfect for an ACTUAL mechanical display…

  6. Will says:

    Or they could just grow up and get the hell off of Twitter…it’s stupid and pointless.

  7. vonskippy says:

    Wow, and I thought the toy car “switch” was dumb.

    http://hackaday.com/2009/09/15/using-matchbox-cars-as-a-switch/

  8. macw says:

    it’s a cute way of showing twitter activity in an interface that’s less cognitively dense than the twitter feed. Makes you think about the implications of each post instead of just glossing over the whole thing as fast as possible. I like it

  9. Max says:

    How would using a projector be different than looking at it on a screen….? Oh yeah, it would go out after 1000-2000hrs.

    The mechanical aspect is mildly interesting – perhaps one could hook up an old teletype then shift the right avatar next to it (or maybe guide the text ribbon next to the proper fixed avatar)… :)

  10. scott says:

    i think this is a great show of inovation, why is there always one troll posting his opinion not relivent to hacking or supporting,
    who cares if you think twitter is dumb! what do you think of the project he made?

  11. uzerzero says:

    The fact that he used a projector to display the message (they’re called tweets, right?) seems to belie the whole point of it being a “mechanical Twitter feed”. When I saw “mechanical”, I thought that perhaps he had a printer hooked up that would print out the message and then move it into position. Maybe an old dot matrix printer would be suitable, as it would add the classic “kersh-kehhh-kehh-kersh” sounds. A typewriter bell would make the ultimate “receive” sound. Overall though, I think the project is intriguing, just needs more vintage appeal.

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