RFID control concept

That’s not a smoke detector, it’s an RFID detecting puck. [Eric] and [Brent] have been working on this concept to produce a virtual knob. When the device detects an RFID tag it vibrates, then the puck can be turned like a virtual knob, an accelerometer picking up the motion data. The build is rounded out with a XBee module for connectivity and housed in a printed case.

The video after the break shows the device controlling colored lights. There is a different tag for each color and when the reader is over one of them the puck can be rotated to turn brightness up or down. We foresee a lot of great uses for this. Turn it into a thermostat for public places by adding a character display to the mix. A tag can be affixed to a wall, when you want to change the thermostat setting just hold the puck over the tag and turn until the screen displays the desired temperature.

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iFob: Keyless entry

iFOB-11-M (Custom)

[Nate] hates keys. He’s gone through a lot of effort to remove them wherever possible. He has a keypad at home and a keypad at work, but he still has to carry car keys. His solution is to build a device he can carry in his pocket that will unlock the car via RF. To do this, he’s utilizing the guts of a Nike iPod puck along with an Arduino and an iPod serial board. He has managed to get this all working, but still has to carry his key to actually start the car. We know what his next project will be.

Orbita Mouse

The Orbita mouse seems to be finally coming to production. After watching that video, it seems that the mouse could be quite nice actually. We’ve seen several people build jog wheels for their computer and others try to make scrolling more ergonomic, and this product seems to add both decently.  Well, it could probably be more ergonomic, but it is a start. At less than $100 it isn’t cost prohibitive either. The question is, have any of you built an alternative? Using a puck shaped device seems like it could get bothersome on the hand, how would you improve the design?

[via Engadget]