April 02, 2009

my Technomadic Hacks in Cyberpunk Non-Fiction; "C/Punk/Doc"


I met Laszlo Kovacs, Director of C/Punk/Doc through the amazing forums @ Cyberpunk Review. He invited me to submit media just as they were wrapping production, so we have a 1.5 minute segment on my Wearable and Nomadic Computing work that begins Act 2. Narration is by Hawk from American Gladiators, over the song Teenage Hitman by Encephalon. Thank you Wood, Keypixel, and my other fellow Cyberpunks.



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December 31, 2008

Wearable Computing @ 25C3


Via Hackaday, the 25th Chaos Communication Congress's Wearable Computing and Solar Power presentations roused me from blog hibernation to say Happy Holidays and please don't text and drive. For abstracts, lecture notes, slides, and links, you too can veer off; About Cyborgs and Gargoyles:State of the Art in Wearable Computing, and Solar-powering your Geek Gear: Alternative and mobile power for all your little toys.

New Year's greetings from under a rock. No, I haven't been in the desert lately, but I have been in other realms. I've been getting into some high voltage shenanigans, the splendid forums at Cyberpunk Review, back into microcontrollers with the Seeeduino, interfacing it with Pure Data, and touring exhibition and interactive design. 2009 is looking to be hacktastic, but more on that next year.

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July 01, 2008

Symbian Will Open Up

"Phones are now a fashion business in that you’re only as good as your last model. Phone makers need to release new models as quickly (if not faster) as Parisian couture makers if they want to remain hot and gain sizable share of the handset market. " - here via here.

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June 26, 2008

My N430


This is the work I exhibited at Maker Faire this Spring. I've been hacking my Archos PMA-430 into wearable computer prototypes for 2 years, and hacking my Nokia N95 for about 9 months. The top image shows a video feed from my Nokia to my Archos, while the image below it shows the unhoused wiring that adds functionality such as USB connectivity and power.

Systems integration is designed for field-reconfigurability and use of ubiquitous technologies such as USB ports and ethernet or phone cables. I can charge both devices from AC, my motorcycle, its solar panel, or even a random computer in any number of libraries, cafes, etc. The two devices link up through a retractable 8-conductor ethernet cable, although I can use a multitude of available cords. The green terminal blocks allow field connections without soldering, since I believe the universal connector is bare wire if no adaptors are nearby.

I have hundreds of images of my work, and lots to write about, so there will be much more ahead. Just a Heads-Up.

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March 18, 2008

Introducing: My Technomadism Hacks

I haven't been posting much, but I have been researching, developing, rapid prototyping, and hacking. I'm applying my love of desert camping, travel, wearable technology, and embedded computing to my urban flagship; a duosport motorcycle. Here's a first look:

This photo shows items I transformed into a top case and a tank bag.

While commuting, the top case can hold gear from errands. While touring, it can carry as much gas a my tank holds plus water. I can remove it anytime. This allows off-roading without extra fuel sloshing around in an enlarged tank. It is made from an LP case, and stability tests will determine if it's indeed more versatile than a top case and replacement gas tank; easily at a savings of at least $200.

The tank bag is made from a folding map case, magnets, and wiring. It's appropriate that it holds my phone with GPS, a non-networked highway infrastructure computer, compass and pencil pack, map, and a solar battery charger for my bike and auuxilliary device battery. I'm sure it'll still also hold an actual paper map or two. I can't find many tank bags with top map pockets that will fit my sloped gas tank. So, I made a form-fitting one that mostly multplies the functionality of the feature I wanted most anyway; a large map pocket.

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March 01, 2008

Wearable Computing on BBTV on CNN

CNN has broadcast a segment on Boing Boing TV, which shows a clip from my segment as it mentions "a demonstration of wearable computers" as a primary example of BBTV content. Online video-on-demand can be viewed here. BBTV uses a still from the segment, shown above, to represent it on their BBTV In The News page and here too. This still is also an except from their segment about my wearable computing work. I am honored and it has got me thinking...

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December 11, 2007

Threshing Nokia's "Eco Sensor Concept" Part 1

On its simplest and hardly unique level, sensors acquire data that can be shared over networks, visualized, logged, etc. The form-factor combines a "wearable sensor unit" inexplicably detached from a "dedicated mobile phone".

The (perhaps deliberately) distracting issue with the concept is its inconsistent specificity. The concept's sidebar links to Nokia's actual sustainable practices including materials, energy-saving strategies, etc. were actually informative; while the concept itself is convoluted with seemingly random levels of detail and environmental justification. The presentation of Nokia's Eco Sensor Concept is unfortunately obfuscated by a combination of existing, emerging, and speculative technologies and heart-strings chaff.

The photo-realistic images detract from the overall presentation. They're not meant to convey anything useful, yet open themselves up to interpretation, and in this case, scrutiny and consternation. They present unexplained dummy data visualizations on button-less screens, which also counter the extinct notion of a "dedicated mobile phone". The scale of the devices is indeterminate, the only hint of a user interface is visually glazed over, and the apparent full-touchcreen is reminiscent of Nokia's aeon concept and BenQ-Siemens Black Box concept phone.

[via engadgetmobile]

(see Part 2 for sensors and wearability)

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November 10, 2007

Not Your Average Phone Ring

I guess you could wear your cellphone on your finger if you wanted to. Why not get a few of these stick-ons and make a multi-fing bling ring and look ka-ching?


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Glog On

Well, despite error messages I had received while trying to Glog from my Treo 650, it turns out my images did indeed get posted. These are from BarCamp LA-3 from March.

MobileCamp LA was a complete blast, and I won a Nokia N95, which will be much easier to Glog from. I am running the Glogger application, rather than using MMS, but I will be relying on WiFi until I transfer my service over from Sprint. I have several hacks in mind for my N95, as hinted at in the my Maker Square post, and I will get into that later. I look forward to Glogging about my future hacks, and more. Some of them will be Meta-Glogs, since they will help document my wearable technology work.

I am also going to be checking out the application included with my N95 called Lifeblogger. It will be interesting to share my comparisons of Lifeblogger and Glogger and playing with ways to use each application to do so.

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Meet me at Makers' Square

"The Maker Faire team is joining forces with Felt Club for the upcoming
Felt Club XL Holiday event - Sunday, November 18 th from 11am-6pm on
the Los Angeles City College campus (855 N Vermont Ave, LA CA 90029)..."

[via BarCamp LA mailing list]

Here's my abstract:
"My contribution to Maker Square will be wearable computing hacks for PDAs. My focus will be on two devices I am hacking right now that can be used as independent wearable computing platforms that can also be combined together. The two devices are more than just PDAs. One is an Archos PMA-430 PVR with A/V I/O, and the other is a Nokia N95 Smartphone with A/V I/O and Video output. I will mostly discuss hardware hacks for interfacing with the devices' I/O capabilities to create wearable computing configurations. This includes reverse engineering, custom connector kit-bashing and cloning, body mounts, on-body networks, and video connections for HMDs and cameras. I will bring a wearable harness I created for the Archos, a custom connector adaptor I created, documentation of iterative hacks, my OATH (Obligatory Altoids Tin Hack) USB Hub/Ethernet/antenae array interface, and will be conspiring live against my Nokia. I will also discuss the shift in approach between the hacks of the two devices, and how it relates to user interface design and software."

They're still accepting proposals; information below:

"This family-friendly event will feature 70+ amazing crafters,
delicious food and great music, plus an all-new section called MAKER
SQUARE, a miniature version of Maker Faire ! (Felt Club is a twice-
yearly indie craft fair featuring the best and brightest of the SoCal
craft scene. Our carefully juried shows highlight a wide variety of
handmade goods, including handbags and jewelry, baby gifts and paper
products, clothing and housewares, one-of-a-kind plushies and original
artwork. In between shows, we host a variety of craft-related events
around the city, including how-to workshops, craft supply swaps, and
more - www.feltclub.com ).

Maker Square is organized by the staff of Make and Craft magazines and
is a mini-fair that brings together science, art, craft and
engineering in a fun, energized and exciting public forum. The aim is
to inspire people of all ages to roll up their sleeves and become
makers. We will showcase the amazing work of all kinds of makers--
anyone who is embracing DIY and wants to share their accomplishments
with an appreciative audience.

We encourage you to join the fun and enter a project to exhibit. You
can submit you entry by sending an email to [email protected]. In
your Maker Square entry request, please tell us about yourself and
your project. Entries can be submitted from individuals as well as
from groups such as hobbyist clubs and schools. Please provide a short
description of what you make and what you will actually bring to Maker
Square. Please provide links to photographs or videos of what you
make. Maker exhibits should be non-commercial. We particularly
encourage exhibits that are interactive and that highlight the process
of making things. Please remember that our space is outdoors and we
do not have access to electricity.

Here's some suggested ideas for topics that we're looking for:
Things Made From Recycled Items
Making Musical Instruments
Bicycle Hacks
Ham Radio
Puzzles, Games and Toys
Cars (hot rods, custom vans, electric vehicles)
Airplanes and Aeronautics (models, etc)
Cool RC Toys & Mods
Video Games (retro, home arcade and more)
Model Trains and Planes
Weaving/Looms (historical or unusual)
Temporary Structures (Tents, Domes, etc.)
Unusual Tools or Machines
How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, Washing
Machines, etc.)

Maker Square Space: Our standard setup for each Maker is roughly a
10x10 space. Use this space to display your work and/or demonstrate
how you make something. You will need to bring your own tables and

NOTE: Makers whose entries are accepted will receive free admission to
Felt Club/Maker Square. However, we cannot pay for transportation and
accommodations. Makers do not pay a fee to exhibit at Felt Club/Maker
Square and maker exhibits are non-commercial.

If you have any questions about participating in Maker Faire, please
contact us by email: [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you at Felt Club XL Holiday/Maker Square on
November 18th in Los Angeles!


Sherry Huss
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Jenny Ryan
e: [email protected]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
web: http://www.feltclub.com
blog: http://www.feltclub.com/news/index.php
myspace: http://myspace.com/feltclub
flickr: http://flickr.com/groups/feltclub/

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April 13, 2006

Nokia 6175i may have integrated GPS

The upcoming Nokia 6175i may be joining the ranks of GPS cellphones, and with a 1.3 megapixel camera, that sounds pretty tempting. Unlike my Samsung 860, this cameraphone supports both USB and Bluetooth for data transfer, and the 262k color TFT internal display (128 x 160 resolution) isn't half bad either.

I've said it before, but it really seems just like how cameras are a common feature in modern cellphones, GPS modules are the next big thing. After all, who doesn't want their cellphone to act as a Thomas Guide and tell them where their friends are?

[ Link via Ubergizmo ]

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July 08, 2004

Raver Wearable Displays

Welcome slashdoters!

Our server is doing fine and we encourage you to check out the rest of our site. Infogargoyle is published daily.

Hufo from /. points out the following videos of this in action:

Windows Media Video 1 | Windows Media Video 2

France Telecom has done some fun R&D to display pixelated images from your cellphone on your shirt or sleeve. These raver garments can even be used as a standalone device that can animate based on sounds and gestures. The technology uses a flexible circuit board with LEDs and other electronic bits like sensors layered in a fabric layered sandwich, which they claim is fairly comfortable.

The researchers at France Telecom hope people will use these textiles to do things like display their mood, but I'd be happy if my pixilated avatar would just bop to the beat of the baseline when I'm out on the town. I really hope to see better resolution displays; this technology is still very young. With better resolution, designer memes and logos might become the hot intellectual property being shared by the young hipsters. Animated clothing is something I've been seeing a lot at Burning Man by artists with electroluminescent wire, so I have hope that this technology will encourage fashion to be more creative. For example, I would love a shirt that could display a very large "NO SPAM" message to display disgust in solicitors and peddlers in appropiate situations. I'd love to hear how others would use this creatively, so once again, I've opened up the comments

[Link via textually]

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June 24, 2004

"Talk to the Hand - LITERALLY!"

0426pe_fingerwhisper.jpgI wasn't going to mention this awfully mundane story on cellphones in watches, but when I heard the words "Talk to the Hand - LITTERALLY!" from a Fox 11 News promo here in Los Angeles, I just had to.

Left hand photo from gizmodo. At least gizmodo's post on the subject brings up the posibility of cellphone inplants.

Excuse me, is that your butt ringing?

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June 12, 2004

Kim Jong-il and the Cellphone Ban

cap_030.jpgNorth Korea's cellphone ban seems to be more complicated than previously stated. While the following quote from Howard Ringhold supports the censorship hypothesis for the reason behind the banning, freenorthkorea reveals that the train bombing was an assassination attempt by "anti-North Korean government forces" on the disliked leader, Kim Jong-il.

nkcensorship.gif"Ohmynews is a website in South Korea that employs 26,000 citizen-reporters. Those citizen-reporters and their readers vote on which articles should appear on the front page. It's wildly popular, particularly among the young cybergeneration. Earlier this year, Ohmynews did something remarkable. The candidate that was favored by many of their readers and reporters was behind in the polls in the days before Korea's Presidential election, and the exit-polls in the early hours showed him losing. A call to action on Ohmynews led to readers sending nearly a million emails to their friends, urging them to get out and vote, along with an uncounted number of text messages to their friends' telephones. That unprecedented online get-out-the-vote effort tipped the election � and the first interview President-elect Roh gave was to Ohmynews."

This indicates that North Korea's neighbor has recently had a change in government directly due to improvements in communication in the form of the internet and cellphones. While censoring the internet is easy, censoring text messages is almost impossible unless you restrict or outlaw cellphones.

In addition, if the the train bombing in Ryongchon on April 22 "had been conspired by anti-North Korean government forces to harm North Korean leader Kim Jong-il" the ban seems justified, at least from the view of the North Korean dictator. For someone so disliked, cellphones seem an obvious target to quell dissent.

"A North Korean official who was recently on his business trip to China said, �The North Korean National Security Agency has investigated the incident since it took place and concluded that rebellious forces had plotted the explosions targeting the exclusive train of Kim Jong-il. The security agency, in particular, gained evidence that cell phones had been used in triggering the explosion and reported to the North Korean leader that the use of cell phones should be banned for the sake of the leader�s safety.


A North Korea defector who crossed the border a few days ago said, �It doesn�t seem to be a temporary measure, because even handsets have been conscripted following the cell phone use ban.� �The Postal Service, which manages the cell phone business, has unilaterally conscripted handsets without offering any compensations. It's a typical example of a dictatorial state,� the defector pointed out." [freenorthkorea.net]

In any case, while North Korea's citizens are being held back in the dark ages, their government is still watching.


In related news, Italy takes the opposite approach, and spams it's hipster crowd with pro-voting text messages.

[Link from Howard Rheingold]

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June 04, 2004

North Korea Bans Cellphones

northkorea.jpgNorth Korea has banned cellphones, what next, cameras? Not sure how many people in North Korea have cellphones, but "Three quarters of South Korean's 48 million people carry at least one mobile phone". North Korea, which unlike Iraq I'm actually worried about, has predictably not given any explanation for the ban. A South Korea newspaper speculated that it may have to do with a train explosion in Ryongchon this April, but I believe the motivations may be more sinister. In 2001, text messaging toppled Joseph Estrada in the Philippines.

"In the charged atmosphere of last week's revolution -- where numbers were crucial -- Estrada could arguably have nipped the protests in the bud by closing down communications while mobilizing forces elsewhere. It might have bought him valuable time."

Please feel free to redistribute my new suggestion for the North Korean flag. I think it's quite appropriate for the current political climate.

Update (June 5th): Thanks to the beautiful and eloquent xeni, this entry got bOingbOing'd yesterday. Also my father told me that the day I published this article was the anniversary of the Tienemen Square Massacre. If you're visiting igargoyle from another site, please check out our daily updates of moblogging, cyborgs, and wearable computing.

[Link via engadget]

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June 02, 2004

3G Plus One = 300Mbps

docomo.gifWell if mobile communications is important to you, this announcement from DoCoMo is sure to please. The figures here are amazing, an average of over 100Mbps, and they were able to achieve 300Mbps from a moving car. Unfortunately Americans won't see this for quite a while as cellphone companies in the states are behind the curve, but it is good news for cellphone users around the world.

"The company said that the test achieved a maximum downstream data rate of 300Mbps with an average rate of 135Mbps in a car running at the speed of 30 kilometers per hour in areas 800m to 1km away from the 4G wireless base stations."

"[4G's average speed] is as at least as fast as any fiberoptic connection you can get at the moment, and means you can stream HDTV to your phone"

[Link via engadget]

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