Geek on the Cheap #124:More TEI – Demos, Workshops & Kits

Feb 07, 2010 | Posted in Geek on the Cheap, geekcraft, smart girls

NOTE: I switched out computers this weekend and Adobe is not allowing me to reinstall CS2 (yes, I’m still using 2). So no pics this week because I’m Photoshop-less.

It’s now been an entire week away from TEI and I must admit the glow is starting to fade as the day-to-day toils of life clog my mind. But here are some great links to take me back to it all:

TUI Blog by form+zweck
Written mainly by Christian Zöllner, one of the creators of the SMSlingshot which was demoed at TEI (it allows you to type in a message then slingshot it onto a wall).

Groove Mechanic: TEI Demo Roundup
This blog by Abel Allison, one of the creators of the TessalTable, offers another nice roundup of the demos.

Technology Review: Malleable Maps, Artistic Robots and Bubble Interfaces
Videos of five of the demos — 3-D Responsive Map, Interactive Art Cobots, Tangible Jukebox (very cool), Augmented Reality Pattern Table (very very cool), Soap Bubble Interface (see my video from last week). Unfortunately, the vids are narrated (oddly) by a monotone voice that makes what’s being described sound almost boring.

Humanism at the MIT Media Lab’s TEI Conference??!
Last but not least, Jon Kolko looks back at the conference and comes up with the conclusion that “the geeks are begging for design.”


Below are a few kits available from people who gave related workshops at TEI. I would have loved to have taken these workshops, but we could choose only one. Oh well, at least I can pretend to conduct my own pseudo-workshop at home. And you can, too.

Fabric Sensor Kits
Hannah Perner-Wilson is currently a grad student in MIT’s High-Low Tech group (read this interview with Hannah from Fashioning Technology). She held a workshop at TEI on making textile sensors from scratch.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Fritzing is open source software that helps non-technical designers move from physical prototype to actual product: creating a printed circuit board with the appropriate circuit and desired shape.

Vital Threads Biofeedback Apparel
Sean Montgomery is a recent neuroscience PhD who likes to stand out in a crowd. I had a blast meeting him at TEI and seeing his devices in person. On this site, you can get kits for his Truth Wristband (turns from blue to red as the wearer becomes aroused) and Heart-felt Apparel (detects your heart beat and displays it as a pulsing LED heart on your t-shirt).

Top 30 Wiimote Hacks
I also missed the Wiimote Hackery workshop and the presenters — Amanda Wiiliams and Daniela Rosner — don’t have any kits. But Wiimotes are crazy-easy to hack, so here are Hack N Mod‘s top 30 Wiimote hacks (my favorite is #2 Wiimote Controlled Lawn Mower).

Have fun hacking and don’t forget — if you’re not pulling your hair out at some point in the making, you must be doing too many things right.

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