The Simplest Smart Glasses Concept

Google Glass kind of came and went, leaving one significant addition to the English language. Even Google itself used the term “glasshole” for people who used the product in a creepy way. We can’t decide if wearing an obviously homemade set of glasses like the ones made by [Jordan Fung] are more creepy, give you more hacker cred, or just make you look like a Borg. Maybe some combination of all of those. While the cost and complexity of developing for Google Glass was certainly a barrier for hacking on that hardware, this project is just begging for you to build your own and run with the concept.

[Jordan’s] build, called Pedosa Glass, really is pretty respectable for a self-built set up. The Arduino Nano is a bit bulky, and the three push buttons take up some room, but it doesn’t kill the ability to mount them in a glasses form-factor. An FLCoS display lets you see the output of the software which [Jordan] is still developing. Right now features include a timer and a flashlight that uses the head-mounted white LED. Not much, we admit, but enough to prove out the hardware and the whole point would be to add software you wanted.

Admittedly, it isn’t exactly like Google Glass. Although both use FLCoS displays, Pedosa Glass uses a display meant for a camera viewfinder, so you don’t really see through it. Still, there might be some practical use for a little display mounted in your field of vision. The system will improve with a better CPU that is easier to connect to the network with sensors like an accelerometer — there’s plenty of room to iterate on this project. Then again, you do have an entire second ear piece to work with if you wanted to expand the system.

Check out the video demo after the break.

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Wrapping Up Maker Faire With [Ben Heck], Giant Arduinos, And An Apple Lisa

All good things, and apparently our coverage of Maker Faire, must come to an end. Here’s a few more things we saw in New York this last weekend that piqued our interest:

A 10x scale Arduino

[Robert Fitzsimons] of Part Fusion Electronics made a gigantic Arduino. It wasn’t quite functional, but [Robert] did manage to make a few 10:1 scale LEDs (with built-in circuit protection), 1 inch pitch headers, and a few other miscellaneous components out of foam and paint.

Since he’s from Dublin, Ireland, [Robert] didn’t want to take this giant board home with him. He graciously gave it to me in the hopes of turning it in to a proper working Arduino. I’ll do my best, [Robert].

There are hundreds of Lisas buried in a landfill in Utah.

Tekserve, an indie Apple store located in the heart of Manhattan, really knows how to put on a good show. For the entirety of their stay at Maker Faire, they had people showing off one of the first digital cameras, Apple Newtons, and an awesome collection of vintage Macs. No, your eyes do not deceive you; that’s a real Lisa there in the bunch.

Sadly, they didn’t have the boot disk to turn any of these on. Pity.

Yes, there were celebrities at Maker Faire

Well, celebrities to the Hackaday crowd, at least. [Ben Heck] showed off the electronic automatic sunglasses he built. It’s a pair of lensless glasses, a servo, light detector, and a pair of clip-on sunglasses. When [Ben] is out in daylight, the sunglasses swivel down. Inside, the amount of light received by the detector decreases and the shades rotate up.

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Macetech’s LED Glasses Prototype

While there was no mention of it on their blog, [Garret] from mace tech was spied wearing some pretty cool looking LED glasses at MakerFaire last weekend. This morning, we noticed a Lytro gallery of the glasses and they look pretty cool (as a toy, not a fashion accessory). For those who haven’t played with Lytro, you can click around and refocus the image. Neat right? Back to the glasses.

Someone who we’re guessing is [Garret] spoke up on Reddit this morning explaining some tech specs and dropping a video of them in action.

The shades are a 20×6 matrix (with some pixel missing of course) driven by SPI from an integrated Arduino-compatible in the right temple. There is a Lithium-Polymer battery on the left temple. You can charge the glasses through USB, and download new code to it over the same connection. A button on the right temple allows switching between modes or auto cycling animated patterns.

Sound Reactive Kanye Glasses!

[Ch00f] has decided to ring in the new year with some el wire Kanye glasses. Technically the term for the glasses is either “shutter shades” or “slatted sunglasses”, invented around the 80s by [Alain Mikli] and originally given the nickname “Venetian Sunglasses”. Kanye West evidently got his own retro redesign by the original creator and the rest is history. That is enough Wikipedia for now. [Ch00f] has augmented the original design with six multicolor tracks of EL wire mounted to the shutters of the glasses. The EL wire is fed back through several discrete wires around the wearers ear and to two control boxes. As the video shows, the glasses function as a crude V/U meter based on the audio received by the driver circuit.

Instead of the typical microcontroller [Ch00f] (who has some kind of deep seated issues agaist the Arduino) decided to go full blown analog with the entire design. The audio signal is fed through various Op Amp circuits first amplifying the weak microphone signal then filtering with a low pass filter to focus on the bass frequencies. The filtered bass is then sent to an envelope detector to turn the audio wave into a DC voltage signal. Keeping with the Op Amp design [Ch00f] then uses a resistor ladder and six comparator circuits (with TRIACs on their outputs) to tune the trigger voltage levels of the EL bars. The TRIACs get to deal with the 100 or so volts for the EL strips so that [Ch00f] doesn’t have to party with six EL power supplies in his pocket. For those of you counting at home, that is a total of 13 Op Amps.

The results are fantastic, check the video below to see the glasses in action. Reportedly the circuit does freak out and lock all of the TRIACs in an on state, but a covert flip of the power switch fixes the issue for now. [Ch00f] admits that the project was rather rushed due to the impending new year’s eve party, but now that that is all over with we just need to get [Ch00f] to roll out a stereo version. If you need more [ch00f] we have covered a few of his projects before such as his Icebreaker POV toy hack and a ghetto accelerometer using a reflection sensor.

Thanks for the tips [Daniel] and [Sanchoooo], also via [reddit]. Happy new year!

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Arduino Based Biofeedback Unit

[Michael Gerstenmayer] has been very successful in developing a biofeedback system. He’s based the build around an Arduino and started adding different chunks to the project to develop a full-featured unit. It can take your temperature (with an IR sensor…. not the hard way), measure your galvanic skin response (conductance), and produce feedback based on this data. Interestingly enough, he built a peripheral vision feedback system based on the glasses frames seen above. They have an LED on each side which are illuminated based on the sensor data.

By using the Arduino’s USB connection the data can also be processed by a PC. [Michael] spent some time working with an open source program called BrainBay to gather and map the stream from the sensors.

We enjoyed reading about the build, but there’s no information about what he’s got planned for this project. That shouldn’t stop you from setting up your own rig and using it as a lie detector, or for the devilish purposes we’ve seen in the past.

Photo rail setup for stop motion

Stop-Motion Angels In The Light Field

Baseball jokes aside, holograms have been a dream for decades, and with devices finally around that support something like them, we have finally started to wonder how to make content for them. [Mike Rigsby] recently entered his stop-motion holographic setup into our sci-fi contest, and we love the idea.

Rather than a three-dimensional model or a 2d picture with pixels, the Looking Glass light field display supports a series of images as quantized points (hence light field). As you move around an object, images are interpolated between the frames you do know, giving a pretty convincing effect. In a traditional stop motion animation, you need to take anywhere between 12-24 frames to equal about one second of animation. Now that you need to take 48 pictures for one frame, over 1152 pictures for just one second of animation. Two problems quickly appear, how to take photographs accurately from the same position every time and how do you manage the deluge of photos sensibly. [Mike] started with a wooden stage for his actors. A magnet was mounted to the photo rail carriage, and a sensor allowed it to detect that it was in the same spot. An Arduino controls the rail, reads the magnet via a sensor, and controls the camera shutter. The DSLR he’s using can’t do that many frames per second, but that’s a problem for another sci-fi contest.

Holographic-ish displays are finally here, and they’re getting better. But if a display isn’t your speed, perhaps some laser-powered glasses can be the holographic experience you’re looking for?

This project was an entry into the 2022 Sci-Fi Contest. Check out all of the winning entries here.

A 3D-printed mini laser engraver made from DVD-RW drive motors.

Mini Laser Engraver Could Carve Out A Place On Your Desk

Got a couple of old DVD-RW drives lying around, just collecting dust? Of course you do. If not, you likely know where to find a pair so you can build this totally adorable and fully dangerous laser engraver for your desk. Check out the complete build video after the break.

[Smart Tronix] doesn’t just tell you to salvage the stepper motors out of the drives — they show you how it’s done and even take the time to explain in writing what stepper motors are and why you would want to use them in this project, which is a remix of [maggie_shah]’s design over on Thingiverse. As you might expect, the two steppers are wired up to an Arduino Uno through a CNC shield with a pair of A4988 motor drivers. These form the two axes of movement — the 250mW laser is attached to x, and the platform moves back and forth on the y axis. We’d love to have one of these to mess around with. Nothing that fits on that platform would be safe! Just don’t forget the proper laser blocking safety glasses!

Need something much bigger that won’t take up a lot of space? Roll up your sleeves and build a SCARA arm to hold your laser.

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