Christopher Baker

I Wear Your Heart on My Sleeve

08 April 2006

I would like to create a completely portable battery-powered device that sniffs wireless chat conversation in public places such as a coffee shop and displays those conversation on a custom garment. I desire to continue my exploration of public/private, the everyday, technology/communication etc. Previous (documented) work to this end can be found here, here and here.

The majority of the wireless sniffing will be done with one of my Gumstix 400xm-bt computers. Much of that programming work is already done. The more difficult part of the project is figuring out how to power and control an interesting output device. I will also have to figure out how to move Gumstix-generated i2c commands down to the controller (most probably a pic processor). Here’s a list of parts I am looking at.

The Serial LCD is only 0.56” x 1.75”. This is not really large enough to make a dynamic display that would be viewable by any kind of audience in a public space such as a coffee shop. Perhaps some sort of a magnification strip would be needed? The LED Matrices vary in size. The large tri-color matrix is 2.38” x 2.38”, while the two color matrix is only 1.25” x 1.25” I would need several of these smaller ones. I would like the entire display to be wearable (and readable hopefully) on my upper arm. That puts my target display dimensions at about 2.5” x 5”. In this case 2 x the three color LED matrix could work. 2 x the Red LED matrix would also work and might be easier to tackle as a first LED matrix control project. Could also create a matrix of cloth-embedded LEDs such as this tank top by Leah Buechley. But that might be a bit more difficult to read.

Power for the Gumstix