Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Could I create a cheap Waccom tablet?

So today, as I was doing my normal browsing of the net, I came across a talk that was done at TED conference about how you can use a Wii remote as a cheap interactive white board. The idea is simple, the Wii remote has a IR camera in the tip that can track IR light sources. So if you hook up the Wii remote to your computer via BlueTooth and point it at the surface that your computer image is being displayed on, then with the use of a IR pen or LED, it will track where you use the pen. At the end of this YouTube video, the creator of this software, shows you that you can use this same idea with the LCD screen of your computer. In a sense, you have just created a $2000 tablet PC with a $40 dollar piece of equipment that you can purchase at any electronic gaming store. So now, with this $40 dollar "Wii tablet" you can then use this with your photo editing software, and you have your self a Wacom tablet. And if you don't like the idea of writing on your screen, what is to stop you from pointing the Wii remote on the surface of your desk or such. Nothing...the software will map out where on your surface each point is to your computer.

Now, the only downside from this approach is there would be no pressure sensitivity. With the Wacom tablets, since the pen is part of the tablet, it can sense how much pressure you are exerting on the table. This is done by a sensor in the tip of the pen. With the pressure sensitivity, the drawing software can change different settings based on this information making the lines thicker, decreasing opacity, or the amount of jitter applied to the brush. Now, myself, having only used a mouse to do most of my photo editing, I have never had the luxury of this feature, so I don't think I would miss it that much. Now, to see about getting a Wii remote and trying this idea out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What a waste!

So last week, Heather bought a bag of Mrs. Fields "Soft and chewy" cookies, and opened the bag to what she expected to be a, you guessed it, a bag of cookies. Instead she was grated with a bag of individually wrapped cookies. Why is this even needed? I mean the first bag was sealed. To me this just seems like a waste, and just something more to fill the land fills with. Do these cookie manufacturers expect us to buy their cookies and not eat them right away. Most people pick up these items off of the shelf at the grocery store on impulse or because they are craving them, which tends to mean that they are going to be gone in the first ten minutes when they get home, if they did not devour them in the car the moment they got out of the store (much like Heather does when she buys them.) So there really is no point in sealing them in their own, "Save for the next ten years", bag. Unless, they expect the stores to have them in stock for this long...