Adding an input to an old head unit

Tape decks in cars? Yes, that used to be quite common before optical media took over road. [Nirav Patel's] 2004 Toyota Corolla had a deck that he used with a tape adapter in order to listen to music from his iPhone. But one day something happened and, although the adapter still worked, the cassette player started making distracting noises. [Nirav] set out to quiet the noise and install an auxiliary audio input for the sound system. There were some tripping points along the way, like breaking everything and starting a small fire, but perseverance got him to his goal. Because these units are built with compatibility for things like CD changers they have a communications bus called AVC-Lan. This protocol has been sniffed out and documented, and [Nirav] even found an existing audio-input hack that he based his design around. Now he’s able to plug directly into the dash and ditch the cassette adapter.

We’ve seen [Nirav's] work a few times before. He’s shown us a first person shooter controller and his site was a resource in our Launchpad programming with Linux post.

[via Make]

Mister Gloves, gesture input

This two handed glove input setup, by [Sean Chen] and [Evan Levine], is one step closer to achieving that [Tony Stark] like workstation; IE, interacting with software in 3D with simple hand gestures. Dubbed the Mister Gloves, the system incorporates accelerometer, push button, and flex sensor data over RF where an MCU converts it to a standard USB device, meaning no drivers are needed and a windows PC can recognize it as a standard keyboard and mouse. Catch a video of Mister Gloves playing portal after the jump.

While amazing, we’re left wondering if gesture setups are really viable options considering one’s arm(s) surly would get tired? [Read more...]

What input device? Just use your arm

This one could be a game changer. [Chris Harrison] and a team of researchers are showing off a method of using your arm as an input device. An arm band worn by the user picks up acoustic signatures created by tapping on your arm with the other hand, or taping your fingers and thumb together on the same hand. They’re achieving accuracies in the 82-97% range but it gets even better. Take a look at the video after the break and see what they’ve done by adding a pico-projector to the arm band in order to use your arm or hand as a touch display.

We liked seeing the concept mice from October, but the future of input devices might already be attached at the elbow.

[Read more...]

PIC based USB input devices

USB is convenient and that makes it desirable in many many projects. [Simon Inns] has the process down and is sharing it with his recent PIC based USB tutorial. Prompted by requests for help on the matter after having published a post about his Commodore 64 interface, he set out to detail the particulars when it comes to using the PIC 18F family as USB input devices. This example uses a PIC 18F4550 with the circuit built on a breadboard. There’s not much required here, an oscillator, a few passives, and a USB B connector. The magic really happens in the code. Take a look at this well-written guide and give it a try with your next project.

Don’t need USB? [Simon's] game hack, the Ultimate Simon is always worth another look too.

Pranav Mistry’s cool input devices

http://ted.com/talks/view/id/685

This new video about [Pranav Mistry's] SixthSense project doesn’t bring us much that we haven’t seen before. At least, not on that project. What really caught our eye was the device he shows off at the beginning of the video. Using two old ball mice, he constructed a grip style input device. It is simple and elegant and we can definitely see using this in future hacks. Not only is it cheap and apparently effective, it seems as though it could be constructed in a very short amount of time. all you need are the wheels that spin when the ball moves, 4 springs and some string. Why didn’t we think of that?

[thanks Sean]

Saturday afternoon robot cooking

What happens when you combine an IR tracking PS3 Eyetoy, and a high-resolution projector? If you answered multi-touch display, you’re on the right track. Add a Wii Nunchuck controlled robot, a pinch of Community Core Vision tracking software combined with Processing, and the piece de resistance, a modified Memo TUIO particle system and you get the mesmerizing video above.

Check out this combination of crazy robotics and more with SparkFun’s free robot hobby builders meet-up on Saturday.

[Thanks Anon]

Extended IR input

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We’re not sure why [Roteno] prefers to have his TV and cable boxes not face him when he’s sitting on the couch, but to each their own. You may already see many problems with this setup: discoloration from LCD viewing angle, difficulty playing Wii, oh and most importantly – not being able to change the channel with his IR remote. [Roteno] was lucky enough, however, to have an IR remote input on the back of his cable box. All it took was a 3.5mm jack and a spare IR receiver and he was back in business. Sure it’s not as technical as some of our cable or IR hacks and we would like to see someone try this who doesn’t have as easily accessible IR input on the back of their cable box. But either way, here’s one more step to never having to leave that couch.

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