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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone like this idea?

A little while ago, I was screwing around with my setup, and within a couple hours, got the iPhone to directly control 4 of the servos, 8 LEDs, and 8 switches through the Medusa! Wirelessly! I did this using an open-source program called 'Processing', and a $5 app from the iTunes store called Touch OSC (there are even free apps that do the same thing, but this one had better examples).

Basically, I made a custom interface (Touch OSC gives you a builder utility for this purpose) that looks like this...
View attachment 4911

Each of the buttons on the lower right control one of the switches. Each slider controls the brightness of an LED, and the XY pad (at the left) controls 2 servos. Also... and here's one of the coolest features... the accelerometer is available too! So, I tied that to two more servos.

Well, this was just for my screwing around, but I can think of two really cool uses for this technology - if someone's willing to write some software.

#1 - Launch VSA routines wirelessly (e.g.: using VSA console)
Be walking around your haunt, and trigger a routine right when you know it'll have the biggest effect. Ideally, this could be an additional feature on a piece of software that allows multiple routines over one DMX line (e.g.: DMXorcist) - that way, you could have some props/routines triggered by mat sensors and beam breaks, and others could be asynchronously tripped by the hauntmaster.

#2 - Use the accelerometer function to control a skull
Put the iPhone under your hat. Now the skull follows your movements. No camera required. Only drawback, it'd only give you two axes, since gravity wouldn't let you resolve the rotational Z axis. But this still might make for some great (and inexpensive) live control and/or method for recording skull movement.

Anybody else like this idea? Personally, I really like #1, because you could be anywhere in your haunt and unleash some terror!

- Hook
 

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Hey Hook,

Great idea... I think I mentioned to you before that I have an iPhone Developer license and may add some similar type of functionality for ComposeIt if I can ever get around to doing it.

Also, the original concept behind TrackSkull was a 2 Axis accelerometer and a rotational sensor. Worked OK but ended up becoming more expensive than a $100 camera.

Let me know if I can help in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
if someone's willing to write some software.
Well... I'm good with hardware and firmware, but I haven't done any GUI programming. However, I can think of at least two talented individuals here who are capable, if they were so inclined. ;) I just think it's a cool idea, wanted to see if anyone might run with it.

Here's the (totally hacked) code, if anyone wants a look. Credit to Andres Colubri for the Enttec Pro DMX class.
View attachment 4918

Nelson, you wouldn't even need the dev kit in this case. Try out one of the OSC apps in the iTunes store. With TouchOSC you can make your own layouts, the iPhone can support multiple pages of layouts at the same time. Each button or slider just sends a unique (and configurable) message over UDP. The only bummer that I see, is that you can't add text labels to the layout.

Hmm... how about a directable cannon, that fires on command? I've been wanting to make an AirZooka-oid addition to the haunt. :)

- Hook
 

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That would be so freakin awesome if I could conrol the haunt like you mention in option 1
I also am a huge iPhone fan but know nothing about programing. If you guys could make this work with vsa it would be the coolest thing ever!!! I hope this moves forward!
 

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Unfortunately for 3 axis skull control you need a three axis accelerometer solution, the first two axes are very simple and I have solutions that are a lot simpler and cheaper than using an iPhone.... it is the third axis that's the killer, ie the PAN axis, iPhones and just about any other type of simple MEMS are not very good at PAN sensing, and an acceptable PAN solution increases the cost from $20 to $600
 

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Discussion Starter #10
True. And I wouldn't suggest anyone buy an iPhone or an iPod Touch just for this. But they're so freakin' cool for everything else, too! I mean... have you seen the iFart app?? Pure Genious! :p

But I digress.

Yeah, I don't see how full 3 axis control could done with the iPhone alone. Integrating the Pan movement just wouldn't cut it. However, I was wondering... how much mileage does everyone get out of the side-to-side axis of their 3-axis skull. It might be suitable to map the iPhone side-to-side axis to the rotational axis, and then go back through VSA to manually input side-to-side moves. Just a thought.

Anyway, I still consider idea #1 to be more interesting and universally applicable. And hey... look! There's two GUI programmers on this thread now! ;)

- Hook
 

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Discussion Starter #15
spookman,

The 3G has 3-axis accelerometers, so it can detect tilt (think head nod and left-right tilting), but it can't detect rotation (think head shaking 'no'). The iPhone 4 will have both 3-axis accelermeters and 3-axis gyros. So it will be able to detect rotational movement about the Z- or gravity-axis - like spinning a Lazy Susan.

Can't wait to play! :D

- Hook
 

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I think I should mention that Helmsman now has a companion iPhone application :)
Ok, I have to ask.

I just got myself a new Samsung Epic android phone. Any thoughts on developing this functionality for Android?
 
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