I originally bought my iPad back when tablets were becoming a fad. I
had expected to use it for everything from reading ebooks to playing
elaborate new games. But no, it has been sitting idle, collecting
dust, for years. Even the promise of a shared, coffee-table web
browser has fallen flat. Whenever there's a task to be done, I instead
reach for my laptop or my phone. After all, as phones get larger and
more capable, and laptops get lighter and extend their battery life,
the sweet spot that tablets offer gets squeezed out from both above
and below. So for the past year or so, my usage has been limited to
ordering food online with friends, passing the iPad down the couch.
But now I've finally figured out the perfect job for it. I've mounted
it right next to my front door. My previously-unused iPad now serves
as a dashboard and control panel for my apartment.
I remember smiling to myself when my granddaughter asked me to “pause”
while reading her a bedtime story. To her, the language was
appropriate. She has only known a world where you have the power to
“pause” by simply pushing a button.
I want to create a fountain that can entertain guests. Namely, I want
to be able to control the flow of the fountain with my hand. Recently,
at our last summit, Jay Hannah
introduced me to the Leap Motion, which
is basically a Kinect for the hands. A little research introduced me
to Arduino, an open source solution for
The fountain will be built using base electrical components. The
actual physical basins for the water may be taken from an existing
fountain, but I plan on making that decision later. This post details
my initial goals for the project, as well as the first steps I took
towards a side-project, and the coding hurdles I had to overcome to
complete the side-project.