Element 14 was interested in featuring a Valentine’s inspired project, so tired of the normal candy, I decided to place a Raspberry Pi computer in a box and have it display @lovequotes tweets. Using a special hashtag, you can surprise a loved one and have the red LED light up with your message. One of the challenges of this project was getting up-to-speed with Python on the Raspberry Pi, while another was using an Epaper display. I actually discovered there was a small error in the tutorial for the device and had the manufacturer tweak it. Anyway, I had hoped to feature a few photos for the “red light” feature, but just never got it to function properly. I’m sure it’s possible and just a matter of some more coding battles. One of the reasons I like this project so much is that it is full of maker spirit with its cardboard, paint and electronics. Hopefully others will be inspired to break the tradition for Valentine’s Day and create their own masterpieces. I created a series of posts on this project, but you can seen the finale here.
Although there are plenty of notifications available through smartwatches, fitness bands and computers, they tend to be dull. It’s much like the issue of buying copycat clothing compared to an original hand-made item on Etsy. People yearn for customization and meaning in their devices, as well as something more friendly looking in appearance. Creating notifications through artistic projects or making them available through our environment like Hue lighting seems much more interesting. We have the capability to use cues from visuals, sounds smells and even touch. What if a notification equaled a change in wallpaper pattern, the sudden scent of lilacs or the sway of a houseplant? IoT is just getting its legs, but I think there are many ways to get our information that are less techy and more in line with our environment.