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Some people in San Diego are about to come out with a grapefruit-sized $200 no-subscription-required computer with no keyboard, but sensors, sound, a touch screen, and 802.11g wifi. (There are many other attempts at "Internet Appliance" type devices before it, like the "Audrey" kitchen computer, or
the Nokia 770 selling for $129 on woot.com.) It might be a cute ambient mood display around the office, but I really don't like that, ultimately, it's just yet another LCD screen.
I want a "skin" - could be smooth, could be furry - that I can put over that thing that has little optic fiber ends glued to the screen, with their other ends distributed all over the thing's surface and ending in something a little larger and a little more reflective. The end result would be a hackable, squishy, pixilated Ambient Orb (Ambient Bean Bag?) without the subscription fee, and with individually addressable facets on its surface (e.g., for an interactive globe.)
[wagster: The idea of making a disco-ball out of recycled cell phone LCDs is genius. I wish I had the hardware chops to do it!]
"Coming in early summer 2007." [jutta, Jun 24 2007]
Smooth, useless, expensive. [jutta, Jun 24 2007]
Unjacketed Plastic Optical Fibers
1+ of these per pixel. [jutta, Jun 25 2007]
(e.g. an interactive globe)
[hippo, Jun 25 2007]
||The ambient orb is way cooler than the chumby, no doubt. Sounds like you just want a better, cheaper ambient orb. Maybe instead of fibre optics you could cover a ball with loads of little lcd's destined for small phones - glitterball style. The driver would be a small feat of engineering, but at least the screens would be cheap.
||I would love it to project the globe in real-time, complete with weather, but I don't know if you could get the data for free.
||This is a whole new world to me. Even
after looking at the Chumby website, I'm
not clear what this is or what it's for. Is it
a computer in a soft covering? What's it
for? Where's the keyboard? Puzzled.
||<passes [MaxwellBuchanan] a pair of pliers>