Posts Tagged ‘jack’
Jack Conte, musician and founder of Patreon, has been on a tear lately with a set of unique music remixes performed by him and a group of pneumatic robots that fire off audio sequences to create some amazing music.
In this video Conte used a QuNeo pad controller, a wooden surface, and a projector to create a stage for his music. He then used an Arduino-controlled solenoid hand made by Rich Humphrey to trigger various sections of the music and played and sang the rest of it. The resulting mix of DIY robotics, live performance, and general chaos is pretty infectious.
Conte even did a behind-the-scenes video to share how he built the project using Ableton, Final Cut, and a lot of patience. It’s a great look at an artist at work.
Danish startup Robocat has built a lot of software for Apple’s iOS devices, but today the company is branching out with the launch of a new hardware accessory for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It’s called Thermodo, and it’s a very small hardware thermometer that fits in your device’s headphone jack, and transmits real temperature data for use in apps.
The Thermodo hardware has a passive temperature sensor, housed in an audio jack and protected by a small cylindrical end cap that only extends around a quarter of an inch out from your device. It doesn’t need its own power source, and it transmits weather data as an audio signal that can be picked up by your phone and translated into the corresponding temperature on your phone via an API, which the company will first use in a dedicated Thermodo companion app for iOS, as well as in two of its previously released apps, Haze and Thermo.
The Thermodo works offline, indoors and out, and comes with a carrying case keyring to make sure you don’t lose the tiny thing when it’s not in use. Robocat says that eventually, any device could potentially support Thermodo, including Raspberry Pi, Macs, and Arduino-based gadgets, thanks to the company’s open source SDK.
I talked to Robocat founder Willi Wu about the project, and why it came to be in the first place. He says the company branched out from its core focus on mobile weather apps based on feedback from users.
“The idea Thermodo is actually based on an indirect request from our users,” he explained.” We received several one star reviews because our users wanted the feature of measuring the temperature themselves right where they are. Currently the iPhone does not support any access to any temperature reading within the phone nor is there a dedicated sensor for this purpose. We wanted to attack to this problem anyway and came up with the most simple solution we could imagine, Thermodo.”
While other devices like the Square credit card reader and the Jawbone UP fitness band use the headphone jack as a way for accessories to communicate with smartphone devices, Wu says that Thermodo is fundamentally different in its approach. That opens up plenty more possibilities for how the company could use the tech in the future to create other kinds of sensors, he says.
“Thermodo is not translating sounds to data like Square or other softmodem-based products,” he said. “It turns out that we can apply this method to all kind of applications. What we do is converting the temperature into an electrical impedance and this impedance is determined by what we call the “Thermodo Principle.” Now we can convert all kind of things into an electrical impedance, like for example wind speed, pressure, brightness and so on.”
Wu says Robocat’s technical lead is already measuring his resistors and capacitors in this manner, and that the company is experimenting with some of these alternate sensing capabilities already. Eventually Thermodo could have a number of sibling devices to gauge just about everything under the sun (including the sun’s brightness).
Thermodo is looking for just $ 35,000 in funding, and pre-order pledges start at just $ 19 for a single Thermodo unit. This is a project that will hit its goal quickly, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from Robocat’s new hardware focus.
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Sony’s PlayStation 4 statement last night notably consisted of no footage of the actual console– and now, Sony Computer system Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton says that’s because the company still hasn’t got it ready. In an interview with AllThingsD, Tretton stated that “we & rsquo; re definitely efficient in revealing usable game material, but we put on & rsquo; t have a mass-production box that we can highlight and pull out. That & rsquo; s still in advancement in regards to last specifications and design.”
He defended the decision to show it later on this year on the premises that looks aren’t as important as capacity: “You certainly look at it when you insert a disc, however for most people, it & rsquo; s behind a cabinet or on a rack somewhere and you invest all your time …
We’ve all been there.
You’re listening to a song on your iPod (or iPhone or whatever) as you walk up to meet your friend and you want them to hear it, too. You pop your right earbud into their ear and bop along awkwardly together. But is your friend really enjoying the music? Are you?
The song is only half as good as it should be, which is exactly why ShareBuds exist.
They are a a pair of headphone sets that connect under one 3.5mm headphone jack. So the idea is that you can plug into your mp3 player, or really anything with a 3.5mm audio-output jack and listen along with a friend. The sound quality on them isn’t amazing or anything, but they solve a problem.
I can think of at least ten examples where ShareBuds would have come in handy. One would be the time that my boss John took me on a road trip with his family to visit startups in DC. His kids, Kasper and Milla, were in the back and wanted to watch Netflix. Meanwhile, John was listening to his own music in the front seat, and I had my own music in my headphones. Luckily, we had a set of ShareBuds for the kids to pop in and get their Tangled on.
Or, remember that one time that Jim and Pam from The Office had their “first date?” They had dinner on the roof, and then as they left, Pam asked to listen to Jim’s music. They shared — one earbud per person. But wouldn’t it be cute if, at that pivotal moment, they could both listen to his song at its full potential?
Of course, you can always hop over to Amazon and buy a 3.5mm splitter for $ 1.50.
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Jack Tramiel, one of the PC industry’s major pioneers, has died. He was born in 1928 and, after surviving imprisonment in Auschwitz and another concentration camp during World War II, first established the Commodore name in business in 1953. His most successful endeavor, and one of the most successful in the history of computing, was the legendary Commodore 64, one of the very first computers built, as Tramiel would later put it, “for the masses, not the classes.” He was 83.
The legacy of Commodore lives on to this day, mainly in how this breakthrough device popularized the idea of a home computer. The C64, introduced in 1982, will certainly be remembered fondly by many readers of this website, as well as the Vic-20 and other less iconic devices. After he left Commodore, Tramiel purchased Atari in 1984, though its most influential devices were already behind it. Commodore, too, would go on to smaller successes like the Amiga series.
There will soon surely be more comprehensive and relevant examinations of Tramiel’s life and work, but for now let it suffice that the man was critically important in the history of personal computing, and in a great part shaped its present and future. He is survived by his wife and three sons, and of course the indelible mark he left on the industry.
Terribly sad news from the family of Jack Tramiel today. The Polish-born businessman is perhaps best known in the technology universe for his founding of Commodore International, the company responsible for the Commodore 64, 128, Amiga, etc. Tramiel’s story is an inspiring one; he was born into a Jewish family, and during World War II, was sent to Auschwitz. He was rescued in April of 1945, and some 39 years later he purchased Atari Inc.’s Consumer division and formed the Atari Corporation that is so well recognized in gaming lore. As first reported by Forbes, Martin Goldberg — a writer working on a book about the Atari brand and the early days of video games and computing with Atari Museum founder Curt Vendel — had this to say: “Jack Tramiel was an immense influence in the consumer electronics and computing industries. A name once uttered in the same vein as Steve Jobs is today, his journey from concentration camp survivor to captain of industry is the stuff of legends.” Tramiel leaves behind his wife, three sons and their extended families.
Never mind what PayPal has just unveiled today — look at these mobile phone credit card readers from China instead. If you ask Square CEO Jack Dorsey, we’re sure he’ll have to a thing or two to say about these familiar-looking dongles (and not to mention the various weibo microblogging services that were inspired by Jack’s Twitter platform). Coincidentally, all three of these pictures above showed up on Sina Weibo earlier today, albeit from different accounts with very little detail in each post — we’d like to think they’re trying to make a point one after the other. So who’s behind these little plastic bricks from the Far East?
Starting from the left (courtesy of Xiaomi Vice President Li Wanqiang) we have Lakala, a well-known Chinese payment service provider whose POS terminals are featured in major supermarkets and convenience stores. We spoke to the company’s CEO Sun Taoran who assured us that this is a booming business in China, as credit cards are more popular than you’d expect these days (most large earteries, supermarkets and even karaoke bars in domestic cities will happily accept them); and of course, he’d certainly want a slice of that massive smartphone pie over there. The Beijing-based company also said its dongle will function even without a phone client installed, but it wouldn’t further elaborate at this point. Expect to see Lakala’s product launch in May.
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