One of the things that most people like so much about Android is that the OS is very open. One of the things that you can take advantage of on the Android platform is the open accessory protocol. A company called SparkFun Electronics has a new USB device called Electric Sheep that takes advantage of that open accessory protocol.
A few months back we reported on a device called the Nest Learning Thermostat. This iPod-esque smart thermostat is available now and comes from Nest Labs - led by ex iPod chief Tony Fadell. The neat little gadget they've created will awake when you walk by, learn your ways and habits, and even save you money while it heats or cools your home. Thanks to Sparkfun we now have additional details and a full teardown of information.
The IOIO for Android breakout board impressed us earlier in the week with its hack-friendly potential, turning an Android smartphone into the hub of any electronics project. Now its creator, Ytai, has shared some examples of what the IOIO is capable of, including a retro-style alarm clock that can ring when you get messages.
We've covered SparkFun electronics before on SlashGear, but with the new IOIO for Android the company has really excelled itself. A USB-connected I/O breakout interfact board for Android smartphones and tablets, it basically turns your phone into an Arduino-style electronics hub, linking external sensors, inputs and controls to your custom apps via a simple Java API.
There's an emulator of every kind on the Android platform right now. Ranging from old-school consoles, to newer (yet still old-school) models, you can find all types of games to play while you're on the move, without having to get your hands on the old-time console. The Nintendo emulators seem to be some of the most popular, and considering the titles available, that's not a surprise at all. But, while playing your favorite games of yester-year may be fun, sometimes playing with your fingers blocking the screen isn't (if you don't have a physical keyboard, of course). So what would be better? How about the original Nintendo Entertainment System's controller? Yeah, we thought it might.
The last time we saw an Arduino watch that played games its aesthetics were not all that great. It was basically a chunk of tech wired to a sweatband. The latest Arduino watch to surface has much more style and fans of steampunk may be scrambling to make their own.
Amazon's hiding of serial port connections inside the Kindle isn't a new discovery, but adding a Bluetooth module to it is. Tinkerer Darron cracked open his Kindle DX and snapped his way through enough plastic to fit in a SparkFun Bluetooth Mate module; that means he can wirelessly connect to the Kindle DX to get a serial terminal on the ereader.
As iPhone remote control projects go we've certainly seen bigger than this Arduino-based iPhone-controlled tank, but it does have the benefit of being somewhat more achievable for the average DIYer than a full-sized car, say. Chris Rojas threw together the tabletop tank from a basket full of SparkFun parts, and now has a solar-powered vehicle he can control from his cellphone.
We've seen some great hacks with the Wii controllers since the console first arrived, and things could get even easier if Todbot has his way. He's launched the WiiChuck, a tiny plug-in board that slots into the plug of the Wii Nunchuck, and allows you to access all of the controller's connections - its 2-axis joystick, two buttons and 3-axis ±2g accelerometer - without needing to cut any of the cables.
Standalone Twitter displays aren't anything new, but we're particularly enamored of David Nichols' Tweetster. Whether it's the open-air aesthetic, the laser-cut wooden parts or the fact that it reminds us of a flashing, Twitter-blurting sleigh, we don't know, but we've the OpenWRT project and an ASUS Wireless Router WL-520-GU to thank for the functionality.