Blink(1) + Google Latitude = “Where’s Daddy?”

A while back, I backed a Kickstarter: Blink(1) – The USB RGB LED. In a world of next-day instant-gratification deliveries, it’s always a pleasant surprise when something you totally forgot about ordering turns up.

It fits neatly into the spare USB port under an Apple keyboard.

2012-12-13 20.18.07

Time for a Pomodoro hack - make something useful in 25 minutes. No time for over-engineering – hack fast!

After a long delay on the train yesterday and my kids calling up to ask if I was nearly home yet, I knew exactly what I wanted to build…

The “where’s daddy?” indicator:

  • Blue -> home (or near home)
  • Red -> work
  • Green -> commuting.

Ingredients:

Timeline:

  • Minutes 0-3: Unpack Blink(1), download command line tool, and test it out. Looks good.
  • Minutes 4-14: Read the API docs for Google Latitude. Tried really hard to get authentication working but realized I was burning time. Arrrg, the pressure – this is taking too long! Aborted and looked for a quicker way.
  • Minutes 15-18: Found a quicker, hackier way to get Google Latitude data. Worked!
  • Minutes 19-22: Hacked up a quick Python script to poll Google Latitude, and convert the coordinates to a value from 0.0 to 1.0 where 0.0 is home, 1.0 is work and 0.5 would be half way between.
  • Minutes 23-25: Based on the number, call the blink1-tool command setting the color to indicate my location.

2012-12-13 20.18.18 2012-12-13 20.18.29

Here’s the code:

https://gist.github.com/4282399

(Ok, I cheated a little – I spent another Pomodoro cleaning up the code, adding comments, etc and another 2 Pomodoros writing this blog post).

  • Trackback are closed
  • Comments (1)
    • Tomer Sharon
    • January 29th, 2013

    This is so cool! I know a couple of kids who might be extremely psyched about this. How does a non-engineer make that work? I already have a blink(1). Thanks!

Comments are closed.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: