Embedded above is a demo video of an iPhone running a Linux 2.6 kernel. The iphone-dev team has created a new bootloader called OpeniBoot. The bootloader lets you boot into a Linux console, which you can talk to over a USB serial device. They’ve got busybox working, but there is no touchscreen support yet. The instructions are not that difficult and include how to back up your settings. It works on first and second gen iPhones and first gen iPod Touch. This is a very early port, but the future is wide open… Android iPhone?
Popular Mechanics contributor [Anthony Veducci] wanted a virtually indestructible video player that he could use anywhere. Not finding a commercial solution, he decided to build his own. He already had a large waterproof case and another for the iPod Touch. The 8″ display came from an iPod accessory. Unfortunately it was developed before Apple implemented their stupid accessory locking, so he had to use an Apple approved video cable through several adapters to get it to work. The speakers were also salvaged parts. The case was assembled using a jigsaw and a whole lot of epoxy. The speaker openings are covered with latex from a pair of gloves and everything is sealed with silicone. We’re usually trying to escape technology when we head outside, but we’ll be looking back at this the next time we need to ruggedize something.
Macintosh makes a lot of wonderful pieces of technology, but they do not make a tablet. Pictured above is the Modbook, the closest you can currently get to a Mac tablet. Though not officially built by Apple, they are an Apple Premier Developer and that isn’t too shabby.
Several people have taken it upon themselves to fashion Mac tablets of their own, varying from extremely professional looking finishes down to duct tape and wire. Lets take a look at some of the more popular ones out there.
Following today’s earlier post on data gloves, HandUSB is a glove interface designed to relay fingertip touch data to a computer via USB. Although the gloves themselves are not extremely interesting or useful for your average hacker, the project has some good documentation. The electronics are all open source and he has links to the EAGLE files and the AVR Libc code. You can also find a demo program written for DOS. This project uses AVR-USB by Objective Development so if you are looking to move on from your USB-serial chips, this project would be a good resource to study.
While we don’t see this coming to your local megaplex any time soon, we are starting to see the technology creep into our lives. After the break lets take a look at some examples, talk about projects we’ve covered before, and how you can get started developing your own.
[Christopher Jette] did a amazing job converting a 56″ rear projection television into a multitouch display. His original inspiration came from this drafting table project. The screen is a large sheet of 1/2″ acrylic with a screen material attached to the back side. The screen edge is surrounded by 168 IR LEDs. When a finger tip touches the surface it scatters the LEDs’ IR light. A webcam sees this scattered light and determines where the fingers are. Inside the box is a standard video projector. This is a great reuse of old equipment and we love to see a hobbyist making up ground where manufacturers aren’t. For more info on multitouch projects, we suggest the Natural User Interface Group. Here’s a video of [Christopher]’s display in action: