Augmented Reality Business Card

[vimeo 4979525]

Embedded above is a neat augmented reality business card by ActionScript developer [James Alliban]. After seeing “the most impressive business card you will ever see“, he was inspired to update his own business card. His new card has a fiduciary marker on the backside and directs you to his site. A flash app on the site displays a video where he tells you more about himself. The 3D grid of planes in the video varies in depth based on the brightness of the section. He has a few more AR and tracking demos on Vimeo.

Updated: While we’re talking augmented reality, it’s worth checking out the tech behind ESPN’s baseball tracker that uses doppler radar.

Related: Augmented reality in Flash

[via Josh Spear]

Gimbal Camera Stabilizer


Professional cameramen use steadicams to make their shots look smooth and clean. However, their prices are generally way too high for an indie’s budget. Previous attempts have tried adding a counterweight and moving the camera away from the hands. [YB2Normal] took a different method and used a bob and gimbal to hold the camera upright. The gimbal is free to rotate along 3 axes, so the camera can stay in place. The whole thing cost less than $15. The first video he made with he mount is after the break.


Related: Building a Snorricam

[via Gizmodo]

AVR ISP Programming Via Arduino

ardunio avr isp programming

We found this Arduino AVR ISP programmer particularly interesting. AVR microcontrollers can utilize an interface called In-System-Programming. ISP allows the chip to be programmed or reprogrammed while in an actual circuit via a pin header. Atmel’s solution is the AVR ISP MKII programing tool. The MKII can also be reprogrammed just as an AVR. The difference here is that most people are not likely to modify the MKII to be used as anything but a programmer. On the other hand if you already have the Arduino, fetch the avr.isp.03 firmware and AVRdude. Then program a device, for example an ATtiny13 using the Ardunio as the programmer. All the project information is provided under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. On a related note we covered a Microcontroller cheat sheet which covers AVR devices and ISP pinouts.

Integrated Steering Wheel Radio Controls

van-pioneer (Custom)

[Graham] bought a new stereo for his Peugeot 406. Unfortunately, the built in radio controls in his steering wheel didn’t interface directly with the head unit, but rather with the vehicle itself. His solution was to build a device to decode the button presses and send them to the head unit in the appropriate fashion. All source code and schematics are available on his site. He states that this should work on any PSA/Renault vehicle with a 125Kb VAN bus. We’re curious how similar some of the American systems are. We have seen something similar where someone wanted to control their Zune from the steering wheel.

The HeliControl Project

helicontrol_offen (Custom)

We’ve all seen those little toy helicopters appearing everywhere. They’re getting cheaper and cheaper with some models getting down to roughly $30. The JRL team wanted to be able to control them with a PC, and figured the best way to do it was to build somewhat of a universal remote for them. The HeliControl module currently has several different types of copters programmed in, and they plan on adding more. Its not surprising to see the rise in popularity of these mini choppers, we’ve even seen some pretty extensive mods to the bodies and even mechanicals. Click around this forum to see what some people are doing to them.

La Guitare à Crayon


As with most electronic musical instruments, we saw this in the tip box and expected the usual random noises to show off the instruments range. Consider us pleasantly surprised. They cut strait to it and showed us what la Guitare à crayon really is. It is an instrument of both audio and visual art. You draw while you play.  The guitar appears to have a wacom attached to the front where you would normally strum. different areas of the wacom seem to effect the music much like a string being plucked. In one of the videos we see some fret board action as well. Watching the screen, we can see that she is drawing a picture, and we are in fact hearing that picture being drawn. The site has a section for source code, but states that it will only posted if there are requests. We are officially requesting it, we want one. May we suggest some improvements? Get some color variation, possibly opacity too. Gimp can do it with the wacom. We can’t wait to see how this project matures. How about another video? Watch it after the break.

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