Showing posts from May, 2016

Practical Project 2: Giving sight to the blind appetizer

Practical Project #2 Giving sight to the blind In this project, I’m going to take a project that I’ve already done and already works and transition it to a different platform in a more generic way and take you fine readers along for the ride.  A while ago, I worked with Google on their Giving Through Glass project and one of the projects I worked on was to give sight to the blind.  I worked with Classroom Champions and an amazing Paralympic athlete named Lex.  Lex is a blind long jumper who lives and trains in San Diego.  I’ve worked with him for the last year or so on creating an application for Google Glass that would allow him to hear the world around him via an app that translates the images from the camera into sin wave sounds. As cool as that project is, there’s plenty of people out there that are similarly blind, like Lex.  And it is now impossible to get the same hardware as Google is no longer selling consumer Glass devices.  So I thought it time to bring this project t

Practical Project 1: Magic Mirror Software

It’s finally time to return to the first practical project “Magic Mirror.”  We need to start addressing the software to make it run and do things that would be cool, useful or at the very least give us a way to start being creative with it from the software side. When we last talked about the “Magic Mirror,” we had our 410c sitting pretty in a custom framed case with a 2 way mirror completing the enclosure with Linux happily running on our network.  So many happy memories getting to this point, continuing is a must!  So in this article, let’s start by talking about trying to get something onscreen.  We want to take up the whole screen.  The easiest way to do that is to launch a browser and use it to browse to a custom server running whatever we want to display on screen.  To do that, we can simply setup what’s called a LAMP (Linux Apache Mysql PHP) stack on our 410c sitting in the mirror.  Then, you’d want to set the servers to launch automatically when the mirror starts up; and fin

Vulkan part 1

In my faculty as a Developer Advocate for Qualcomm, I’ve gotten the awesome chance of working with Vulkan for Android for a few months now.  Being able to work with such a new technology this closely is an awesome chance and I’m so excited about it I felt the need to create an example program and share it with the world via this blog. Let’s start by talking a bit about what this whole Vulkan thing is and why it is important.  Back at the beginning of the graphics world, hackers found ways of creating cursors of ASCII art images decorated by text.  There were no GUI or concept of a window or any other form of User interface beyond a keyboard.  To be honest that level of technology is perfectly serviceable to the business world whose needs range from a text editor to a spreadsheet.  Thus the interest in creating more was chiefly a pursuit by “hackers” a term truly defined as those that would tinker in their free time, making things like games and creatively pursuing the very limits of