UPDATE Voice Command Running Jacket Prototype – Phase 3 – using the functional prototype

New Update on my Voice Command Running Jacket project.  The first update being that the entire project has essentially turned into a “Voice Command Directional Apparatus” module.  I found this to be a better direction for the project as you can take the device and use it on almost anything that can sustain a balanced state while being shaken.   Objects like a helmet, a jacket, a shirt it really doesn’t matter where you put it as long as the voice recognition Arduino modules can pick up your voice which works from about 15ft away.

Before I begin with my prototype I want to show you some of the really great products and ideas out there already, so there is a basis for my project.  I hope what you’ll see is that each product has it’s advantages and disadvantages.  Mine would be literally hands free, and the ability to use it in conjunction with different kinds of objects and situations makes it more versatile.

This product has similarities but, relies on the functionality to be stuffed into a sweatshirt
Dr. Leah Buechley used this device to test out her Lilypad – an Arduino designed for wearables and e-textiles. In this use the Lilypad powers a set of left and right turn LEDs as well as power and switch indicator LEDs on the jacket.


Seil Bag has been designed to display left and right signals, well actually various signals that the rider wants to display instead of using hand signals, it comes in the form of a backpack. There’s a small controller which can be used to transmit basic signals to LED display




Video of me putting the Voice Command Directional Apparatus on a Columbia Fleece, and simulating night time running.

Video of my beautiful wife wearing the Voice Command Directional Apparatus on a Columbia Fleece and being my first test subject.  It took some convincing… but after calling me a dork a few times she agreed.


At this point I am going to start putting  refined versions of this project and a few variations of it in the Fall Milwaukee Gallery Night.  If you would like to see this project in person and have a drink with some exceptional people, stop down to Thirsty Boy in the thirdward.

I have also posted this project to quirky.com, Please vote on it.  If you haven’t used quirky.com before check it out, it is like Kickstarter but better.


HERE ARE MY MOLESKIN SKETCHES – Showing the now modular apparatus being used in other situations.




Swiss Army Knife With Detachable GPS Key Fob

I was using the bottle opener on my Swiss Army Knife the other day during a conversation about GPS Key Fobs… well like all good ideas ( they happen in the middle of good conversation )
First let’s back track and talk about Swiss Army Knives… I happen to be a really big fan of them because they embody everything about my dad and grandfather that can be bottled up into an object.  My dad was an electrical engineer and an inventor, my grandfather was a machinist and wood worker… if you condense those ideas into a pocket object -poof- you have the legacy and essence of a little red pocket knife…
Technology in this day and age is becoming almost as Science Fiction as you can get, the tools and ability of the general public is edging into the realm of Batman’s Utility belt.
A piece of technology that I have always wanted was the cool quick toss magnetic tracking device, an idea used in comics as old as Dick Tracy.  The gadget essentially upon throwing it magnetizes to the surface of an object ( if metal ) and can be used to track anything ( which is essentially how Batman always finds the super villains hideout )
In the practical world you could use the technology for loads of things like: you’re going camping with your dog… you don’t want to keep him on a leash but you want him to be able to run free… You’re with your kids, you want to let them go play in the woods etc. There are tons of spur of the moment situations where this handy little gadget’s functionality could be used.
Swiss Army Knives are such a great pocket tool

Mobile Floor Projection Belt – Invention – For Fashion or Just to Make it Look Like Your Walking on Fire

I found a company the other day searching around online for Arduino projects that created LED clothes: http://led-clothing.com/

The web site is full of inspiration, and you can get lost for hours thinking of possibilities for trade shows, special events, new business opportunities, web apps… you name it the idea will come to you when your clicking around at that web site.

It really made me think about the possibilities of wearable gadgets and about the future and potential for making things that we really consider as science fiction.  I’ve always admired the holodeck concept from Star Trek, but when it comes down to actually building something like the Holodeck the technology is extremely expensive, a little to high-tech and then there is the classical problem of the “human-plug-in” apparatus… The idea of putting something on your head, putting something on your hands, standing in a suspension cage, etc. becomes the classic hallmark of putting a person into a virtualized environment problem.

But then what about all of the new work being done in the area of interactive projector projects out there like the kind at Magic Carpet: http://sensoryguru.com/magiccarpet/

The basic idea of altering our environment to produce a desired outcome is an old concept and we can really see how technology is starting move us into this space in which we don’t have to have the physical object there but that the ability to have a representation of an object gives just enough visual to change perception.  Think about the ability to actually change your environment in a radius around your body, that others can see like the floor projection example above.

So I set out on thinking about a way create mobile floor projection… The idea is pretty simple, and could be updated by some really good hardware specialists to be a fraction of the size.  The visual effect of your shadow obstructing the light hitting the floor actually would be correct being that it would simulate light at high noon.  The basic premise is to have three possibly 4 pico projectors mounted to a belt, that would in effect project the floor as you walked.  You simulate games in which your jumping over obstacles, it could be used for training instances like construction sites, fashions shows, etc.

HERE ARE MY MOLESKIN SKETCHES: I submit this idea to Quirky so if you like the invention be sure to vote on it along with my other inventions. http://www.quirky.com/invent/738775/action/vote/query/sort=ending_soon&categories=all



Solar Powered Dehumidifier/Distallation Cup – A Cup That Makes It’s Own Water

So I was talking with a friend of mine half a year ago, and she was explaining to me the whole conspiracy theory about the amount of Flouride in the water and how it is bad for our bodies, and how the build up over time is damaging to us.  Whether the conspiracy theory is correct or not, it made me think about the amount of water I drink in a day… It made me think about my family and the basic idea of drinking water.  I grew up walking a cup over to the sink and turning on cold water and… that was about it, cold water in abundance… So the basic idea of the water we consume in a day and the long term effect on our bodies if the water is potentially bad was sort of an opening moment for me.

It also plunged me into thinking of 3rd world countries and how even the concept of “Water” in general let alone if it’s clean or not is such a humanitarian issue that if one could come up with a way to make water out of “thin air” it would be a great act indeed.

In the same thought I had to go into my basement to clean the cat box out and sitting right infront of me was my dehumidifier…. Which of course does, just that…. it makes water out of thin air.

Well history if full of giant gymnasium size machines that are then condensed down into pocket size machines…. SO…. Why not my dehumidifier…. Which of course already exists.  You can buy small table table top water distillation devices…


but they all have one thing in common which if attempted to be used in a 3rd world country might be hard to come by….. you have to plug them in… What if you could wrap a solar cell around a cup/barrel/jug and put the heating and cooling component functionality from a standard dehumidifier in the casing, while having the drainage collect in the actual cup itself…


Solar powered dehumidifier distillation cup