Saturday, August 18, 2012

TechXploration: Unlearn How Things Work

TechEploration is a meetup group that plugs you into the latest conversations about emerging tech, trends, and issues with the industry's top thought leaders. They also offer food, music, and networking opportunities along with their events. For more info on their latest event, just continue reading or head over to their webpage over here.

Jay Silver will join us to launch the "invention kit for everyone": MaKey MaKey!

RSVP now to reserve your spot!

Food and Craft Beer @ 6:47 PM
Presentation, Demos and Q&A @ 7:19 PM

PayPal Town Hall
2161 North 1st Street, San Jose, CA (map)

What is MaKey MaKey?
Brought to life by an over 2,000% funded Kickstarter campaign, MaKey MaKey is "an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between."
Wait, I'm a TechXplorer so I need more technical info than that...* (see below)

Ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to your world and start inventing the future.

About Jay Silver:

Come Xplore:
  • How the Maker Movement is transforming the prototyping of interactive systems
  • What Intel and others are doing to support and learn from the Maker Movement
  • Why you shouldn't (but could!) use your cat as a game controller =)

*MaKey MaKey is...
MaKey MaKey is a printed circuit board with an ATMega32u4 microcontroller running Arduino Leonardo firmware. It uses the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol to communicate with your computer, and it can send keypresses, mouse clicks, and mouse movements. For sensing closed switches on the digital input pins, we use high resistance switching to make it so you can close a switch even through materials like your skin, leaves, and play-doh. We use a pull-up resistor of 10-50 mega ohms. This technique attracts noise on the input, so we use a moving window averager to lowpass the noise in software, saving money on hardware filtering. There are six inputs on the front of the board, which can be attached to via alligator clipping, soldering to the pads, or any other method you can think of. There are another 12 inputs on the back, 6 for keyboard keys, and 6 for mouse motion, which you can access with jumpers via the female headers. If you wish to use a different set of keys, or otherwise change the behavior of your MaKey MaKey, you can simply reprogram it using the Arduino environment. By cutting a trace on the back of the board, you can disconnect the large pull-up resistors if you want to, which would be necessary in a small minority of Arduino projects. more info here.

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