Tech Marinade
Uncovering Hidden Innovation in DIY Electronics
SoundsCape: Connecting All of Your Audio Devices with a BeagleBone Cape
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 4.11.2014 News

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The sleek new future seems to be reaching a wireless state, with Bluetooth devices cropping up everywhere providing need ranging from helping you use your collection of credit cards to a “LoJack” for your luggage. In contrast to these complex designs, the simpler tools provide the most possibilities. Take the SoundsCape for example. This BeagleBone Cape developed by Simple Media Networks provides a Bluetooth and audio I/O interface that will allow users to connect audio devices wirelessly.

The SoundsCape uses an ADAU1361 audio codec that includes that standard Stereo Line Input, Stereo Line Output, and Stereo Headphone Output with Mono Mic In. The codec supplies >98db Signal-to-Noise Ratio for both the inputs and outputs with the outputs supported by 3.5mm stereo jack. There is also compatibility with the LCD display interface. Unfortunately, you would have to choose between this interface and the Bluetooth interface due to General-Purpose I/O limitations on the BeagleBone.

As for the Bluetooth, the SoundsCape provides a Blue tooth 4.0 interface using the PAN1323 module from Panasonic. With it, users will be able to develop streaming by Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, Headset via Hands-Free Profile, and controls with Bluetooth Low Energy.

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The Fin Swims Ahead For Touchless Technology
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 4.8.2014 News

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The wave of the future is upon us and technology is making its way into resembling that which we see in science fiction. One of these picturesque developments is that of gesture based technology. This dance-like method of interacting with our devices has seen developments in the forms of Leap Motion, Xbox Kinect, the Nintendo Wii, and more. A team has decided to create their own portable gesture device, with an aesthetic flair to boot.

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MetaWear: Make Wearables in 30 Minutes or Less!
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 4.1.2014 News

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You can’t send an Arduino to production, but you can send a MetaWear!

A new Kickstarter by the team at mbientlab (mbientlab.com) features a device that promises to cut prototyping times and hardware development costs for hardware projects. Their device, the MetaWear, is a small development board, 17mm by 26 mm in size, that packs a Cortex-M0 microcontroller and Bluetooth 4.0. A simple API for iOS and Android makes it easy to utilize the MetaWear without writing a line of firmware.

The Mbientlab team launched a Kickstarter for their previous product, the Cubit, back in October. They learned the hard way that crowdfunding can fall short of goals if the product does not fit the market in just the right way. This did not discourage Laura Kassovic or Matt Baker, co-founders of Mbientlab, who saw an opportunity in using a generalized version of the Cubit’s electronics to create a device that could drastically speed up development time and reduce costs for many hardware startups. A few iterations later, the MetaWare was born.

Mbientlab wants the MetaWear to remove the hassle of hardware design so they designed it to be fully cost-optimized and production ready. Unlike an Arduino and breadboard prototype, the MetaWear needs no re-design after the prototyping stage and can be used in products that are ready-to-ship. Ideally, anyone can use Bluetooth Low Energy technology in their designs without the need of a professional electrical engineer.

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The All-In-One Card Startup Coin Offers An Arduino Bluetooth Low Energy Developer Kit
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 11.14.2013 News

coin_productIf you haven’t already heard, there is this new card that has been developed, and it isn’t of the Pokemon or Magic variety. This card can act as a representative of your entire wallet and be programmed to swipe as your credit, debit, or loyalty cards and more! This convenient marvel that does away with thick wallets is called the Coin. By using the Coin mobile app and a swipe dongle on your smartphone, you can upload your various cards onto both the app and your Coin device. All you need to do is swipe your card through, take pictures of both sides, and fill in the rest of the details. The mobile app can hold an unlimited number of card data and you can add up to 8 cards onto your Coin device. When it comes time to make your payment, you can simply choose which card you need using the interface located on the card and swipe. And if you happen to stray away from the card, the mobile app will warn you that you may have lost your Coin device. This is done via a Bluetooth Low energy (BLE) module that Coin developed themselves and now offers a kit for others to use!

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