Category Archives for "Computing"

Raspberry Pi’s little brother

RPIIMore than three years have passed since the introduction of the very first Raspberry Pi electronics circuit board, and since then a DIY electronics revolution has taken place with hackers producing almost everything electronic from DIY mobile phones to DIY touchscreen tablets. And now the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the addition of Raspberry Pi’s smaller sibling, the Pi Zero, which comes at a extremely low price of only five US dollars. So exactly what can you expect for your $5? The CPU of the device is a Broadcom BCM2835 / 1 GHz ARM11 processor that lives on a board that measures only 6.5cm by 3cm in surface area and with a thickness of only 5mm. It is supported by 512 MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, and microSD memory card port acts as the hard drive-equivalent storage system for the little electronics motherboard . Given its small stature, some compromises have had to be made, and it is in its I/O connectivity where the cuts have come. The Ethernet and full-sized USB slots that are present on the model B+ have been removed, but there is a mini-HDMI port for 60 frames per second video streaming, two micro-USB interfaces for USB power and data transfer, and, importantly, a 40-pin general purpose I/O header for the board’s primary purpose to connect to and be part of DIY electronics designs. The Zero runs the same Linux-based operating system as its older siblings so no new programming skills are required if you are already a seasoned Raspbarian.

The Gest-ure Controller

GestApotact Labs has recently revealed a four-fingered ‘glove’ called Gest that is designed to allow users to control any attached computer or mobile device using just their hand gestures. The Gest controller is fashioned to accommodate any shape or size of hand by means of a flexible palm strap and 4 adjustable finger attachments. Each glove has 15 sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, which are commonly found in mobile devices. The specially-designed software makes the device very sensitive even to small finger motions and is designed to get to know just how each user moves his or her hands by producing a customized configuration distinct to each user. By adjusting the software program to each individual, the device is able to provide a very high degree of precision for all types of hand movements, even small finger twitches. The company has indicated that its first application will be for Adobe Photoshop with initial devices exhibiting 5 standard motions. For instance, pointing at the computer display permits you to position the computer’s mouse anywhere on the screen, while turning your hand readjusts Photoshop’s sliders, and 3D objects can be revolved by ‘grabbing and rotating them’. The device hooks up to just about any device that has Bluetooth, and is recharged with a Micro-USB interface. Apotact Labs also demonstrated the Gest controller working as a keyboard interface, but users will have to wait for this feature as it is still only in the experimental stage. Gest was just launched on Kickstarter and is expected to be delivered to early enthusiasts by late 2016.