Showing posts from October, 2013

Printing Glass

And then, of course, there are other ways to get Google Glass, if you wanted some, but did not yet manage to get yours... and you are not happy with the #Lego version...

Just print your own.

A Googler colleague just asked me: "Do they work?"  And the answer, I guess, depends on what you want to achieve, what you hoped they would deliver...
(Now that I've done both, I think the Lego version is much more flexible, agile, smooth and colourful... now #ifonlyihadglass for real...)

Google Glass (made from Lego)

Continuing on from the theme on things I did when entertaining an audience at #GoogleATU on Friday... (also see banana and homopolar motor)

#ifIhadglass I would not have had to do this, but since I don't have glass, I had a problem. On numerous occasions I wanted to show off and talk about Google Glass in the broader context of new form factors, innovation, wearable computers, internet of things or #whenamapisnotamap.

What do you do if you want glass, and don't have it? (BTW - Working at Google has not yet solved that problem for me either... but I'm not giving up hope!)

Until then, the solution for me has been to build my own with lego.

OK Google?

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3: Step 4:

Step 5: Stick this to your glasses with blue tac.
I've done this at a few events, and people just assume it's the real thing. On one occasion, the customer even asked me to try it on. I detached the lego & blue tac, and handed this to the customer... who then took it (carefully as if …

Banana clicker recipe

Next up, following from the Homopolar motor, is the banana clicker.

This is a great way to impress your audience at any presentation, so I'll now need to find another trick... but I'll share this with you for your pleasure... just don't tell anyone until you've used this to impress your next audience.

Instead of using a fancy clicker to advance your slides, use your banana.

In short: buy this (or one of these), plug it in, connect banana and impress.

In a bit more detail (and cheaper set-up): An Arduino has a USB plug, and can pretend to be a computer USB keyboard if it is running this program. (You could buy or build your own Arduino, and just download the open source code...)
The code effectively looks for conductivity between connectors, and when it measures conductivity, it sends the "key press". A banana conducts (providing you hold on to the other (ground) wire... or you can hook it up to ideally a steel lectern). Other fruit works too, do experim…

Simplest motor - screw, magnet, wire and battery.

I've recently presented some fun bits at a Google Event (#GoogleATU), and I had so many requests for more info, that I decided I'll write up my tricks for all to enjoy.

if ((technology == magic) && (magician's code))
  return (void);           // nah, ignore

First up: Homopolar motor. It's not my idea, I have to confess. It was Farraday's idea and he first did this demo in 1821.

What do you need:
1) A battery. Round ones work best. Just take a normal AA battery, one that you won't mind throwing away, as you'll pull a lot of current through it.
Expert tip: For best results, find one where one of the poles on the battery is not perfectly flat. You ideally want it to be a bit rounded or with a slight tip on it to reduce the friction with the screw
2) A screw.
Expert tip: This could be a nail or anything else really, but it needs to a) conduct electricity and b) magnetic field. You want one that is as heavy as your magnet can hold. Too heavy, and it will f…