A grey smartphone sits inside a sleeve made of light brown wood veneer and a black felt interior.

Wooden Smartphone Sleeve Keeps You On Task

Smartphones are amazing tools, but sometimes they can be an equally amazing time suck. In an effort to minimize how much precious time goes down the drain, [Lance Pan and Zeynep Kirmiziyesil] decided to make a functional and beautiful smartphone sleeve to keep you on task.

Most modern smartphones have some form of Do Not Disturb mode available, but having the phone visible can still be an invitation for distraction. By tucking the phone into an accessible but less visible sleeve, one can reduce the visual trigger to be on the phone while keeping it handy in the even of an emergency.

Once in the sleeve, the NFC tag sandwiched between the felt and wood veneer triggers an automation to put the phone into Do Not Disturb mode. This hack looks like something that you could easily pull off in an afternoon and looks great which is always a winning combination in our book.

To see some more focus-oriented hacks, checkout the Pomodachi or this Offline E-Paper Typewriter.

Sliding Camera Mount Is Good Enough For Amateur Photography

[Unihopper] built this sliding camera mount to add some motion to his freestyle unicycle videos. It’s extremely simple, but still pulls off a pretty nice effect as you can see in the clip after the break.

The image above shows the mount without a camera attached. ¬†You can see the threaded peg on the block in the foreground which is used for that purpose. Felt has been wrapped around the base of the block, which rides in a wooden channel. The string, which connects to an eye hook in the wood block, is attached to a spool on the far end of the plank. A K’nex motor drives that spool, slowly sliding the camera toward it.

Unlike other toy-based sleds, the use of a track system helps to maintain proper orientation of the camera. Obviously this isn’t going to achieve the perfectly smooth and precise motion you’d get out of a sled system like this rail and linear bearing version. But honestly, most of us don’t have cameras of the quality to warrant that type of high-end system. Continue reading “Sliding Camera Mount Is Good Enough For Amateur Photography”

Robotic Doodle Clock

This clock has a robotic twist to it. It will show you the time by drawing it in dry-erase marker. There’s a bit of play in the arm joints and some loose motor precision which results in a wavy font that prompted [Ekaggrat] to name his project the Doodle Clock.

The shape and building material used here really make the timepiece look great. We think if the arm holding the acrylic writing surface had been at right angles this would not look nearly as pleasing. The video after the break shows the bot in action, at first flexing its wrist to switch back and forth between marker and eraser. From there it starts to draw the time, tracing the segments of each digit multiple times to achieve a readable number. The entire thing is driven by an Arduino compatible board mounted on the base of the clock.

This reminds us of that felt-tipped Turing Machine. A variation on that would also make a really nice clock display.

Continue reading “Robotic Doodle Clock”