Emojis are all well and good if you want to add a fun tiny picture to your textual communication to try and add some finer context or zing, but what if the appropriate tiny picture doesn’t accurately represent you or how you feel? Never fear, cowboys, the emoji set you’ve been dreaming of has now been created.
The set was initially created by the appropriately-named [pensivecowboy], by using scripts to place cowboy hats atop existing emojis from the twemoji set automatically. Over time, it was decided to instead just apply these hats to the 300 most-used emojis instead, with some manual fettling in cases where the script-generated result needed a little work.
Is this important, groundbreaking work? Your opinion on that likely depends on how much of a cow or a boy you are. But down at the ranch, it’ll likely bring many a smile to a pensive cowboy’s face. A quick search did note the absence of a :snake_in_my_boot: emoji, however, which could be a safety issue down the line.
Emojis, the graphical descendants of textual emoticons, are everywhere these days. They’re commonly used on social media platforms as a way of indicating a basic emotional response to a post. That wasn’t enough for [Tadas Maksimovas], who built the Emotigun to really get the point across.
Fundamentally, the Emotigun is akin to a Gatling cannon for small foam emojis. Firing over ten rounds per second, it’s built primarily out of wood, using Precise anti-cold rubber bands to fling its ammunition at targets. This was a practical choice, as the original Thera-Band green rubber tubes became inelastic in the cold temperatures of the testing environment. The finer details of the build are laid out in a document for those eager to know more.
This project of [Nathan]’s certainly has a playful straightforwardness about it. His Skype ‘Kiss’ Interface has a simple job: to try to create a more intuitive way to express affection within the limits of using Skype. It all came about from a long distance relationship for which the chat program was the main means of communicating. Seeking a more intuitive and personal means of expressing some basic affection, [Nathan] created a capacitive touch sensor that, when touched with the lips, sends the key combination for either a kissy face emoji or the red lips emoji, depending on the duration.
Capacitive touch sensing allows for triggering the sensor without actually physically touching one’s lips to the electrodes, which [Nathan] did by putting a clear plastic layer over the PCB traces. His board uses an STM32 microcontroller with software handling the USB HID and STM’s TSC (Touch Sensing Controller) functionality. As a result, the board has few components and a simple interface, which was in keeping with the goal of rejecting feature creep and focusing on a simple task.
Clearly the unit works; but how well does it actually fulfill its intended purpose? We don’t know that yet, but we do know that [Nathan] seems to have everything he needs in order to find out. Either way, it’s a fun project that definitely fits the spirit of the Human-Computer Interface Challenge of The Hackaday Prize.