Nook Simple Touch as a glider computer

Look at the beautiful screen on that Nook Simple Touch. It has a lot of advantages over other hardware when used as a glider computer running the open source XCSoar software. The contrast of the display is excellent when compared to an LCD or AOMLED. That’s quite important as gliding through the wild blue yonder often includes intense sunlight. The display is also larger than many of the Android devices that have been used for this purpose. There are a few drawbacks though. One is that unlike other Android devices, this doesn’t have a GPS module built into it. But the price point makes up for the fact that you need to source an external module yourself.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the device used as a navigational display. This other hack put a simple touch on a sailboat for the same direct-sunlight-readability reason. For $100, and with the ability to root the system for use as an Android device, we expect to see this to keep popping up all over the place as a simple interface for a multitude of projects.

After the break you can see a video comparing the software running on a Nook display to one on a Dell Streak 5 LCD tablet.

[Thanks Folken]

Comments

  1. ehud42 says:

    Sorry, dumb question – what is the refresh rate of e-ink and how does that affect its life span? I assume that as a nav aid some of the details would need to update every few seconds at least. Is that a problem?

    If not, then this is SWEET – I’d gladly take a high contrast e-ink that is only black & white over low contrast color any day for a GPS screen.

    • Alex says:

      AFAIK…

      Full screen refreshes take the most amount of time (full blackout, then write), but that doesn’t need to be done often. For something like a moving icon on a map, you can update only that region. It leaves behind some dirty “trails” that eventually need to be refreshed away, in the meantime it’s fast and “good enough.”

  2. PanicOpticon says:

    Seems to me that you should be able to connect a USB GPS to it and get map updates, as the Nook has USB host mode. You just need the adapter.

    Of course you’d also need the USB to serial modules loaded, but that doesn’t seem insurmountable to me.

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=21669750#post21669750

  3. jc says:

    using open source software in a glider.. isn’t that like a double suicide or something ?

  4. Philip says:

    Finally a replacement for those old and buggy Ipaq 3900 which had one of the best sunlight readable displays.

    I’m pretty sure i’ll build that into one of our gliders. Almost all gliders in germany have FLARM which is a good source for GPS, positions of others in range with that device can be displayd with their height and climbrate.

    Open source navigation software for gliders are now better than any software which you have to pay for.

    thank you for sharing this

    • JB says:

      This is what surprises me. With so many hacks popping up using these displays BECAUSE they are better in sunny conditions, why aren’t commercial solutions available using them? There are even COLOR e-ink displays now.

  5. mevabox says:

    http://www.eink.com/sell_sheets/pearl%20sell%20sheet.pdf

    datasheet of eink, not sure if its the same as the one in the nook but it shows a 50k hours as lifespan, that in combination with the 1Hz refresh as seen on the nook has impressed me. Low power consumption, excellent in the sun visibility, good lifespan and more than acceptable refresh rate for most applications… wish I saw this vid sooner.

    Thanks for sharing this :)

  6. pcf11 says:

    Because for some people just looking out the window is not enough!

  7. Tiberio says:

    Hi all,
    I know tophat project but I guess tophat is a fork going to an easier interface.
    I know top hat born by XCSoar, is it the only “way” to run XCsoar in nook (or any other eink device) or there is one further XCSoar version to run on eink?
    I’d like to run real XCSoar (not a different one, like top hat is). Is it possible?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93,979 other followers