Rapid Prototyping Hardware with Windows 8: Wearable Electronics using TouchDevelop at the LA HACKS

I attended the LA HACKS, and one thing that I am on about these days is embedded hardware with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1, not phones but rather purpose built hardware.  But seriously, as usual when it comes to what to wear, the French as usual kick everyone’s posteriors.  And with artwork, again great work.  Presentation, not so good if you are an American who only has had to speak one language, these guys speak French as a first language, and the room was loud, etc. so good given all of that, but a fail during judging.  Sorry guys. 


Then I took them to Beverly Hills for a photo op in front of the Beverly Hills Sign.  And then dinner at Nate and Al’s on Beverly Blvd.  AND this was a horrible weekend from hotel and restaurant selection by me.  My Greek Herring Salad was terrible, they used lettuce not cabbage (which would have contrasted the herring), they had a salad and chili burger which they were nice about, but likely was subpar.  We did sit on one of the main streets in Beverly Hills and watched the world go by, so that was ok.

As to the hotel I stayed in, well let’s not talk about it.  But who would have thought that a hotel that bad would be across the street from CBS Television City.

Seriously these two students from CSULB really knocked it out of the park with respect to being able to develop a game idea, generate the specialized hardware, use the arduino technology, create the original artwork, do a marketing video, prepare a presentation and use an Azure based technology called TouchDevelop! 

To see their work go to http://tdev.ly/aawmixxg they will describe their work in length (or not get the grade they deserve) for MY blog over the next few weeks.  But it is awesome and cheap. (Keyboard is the French keyboard so an “A” on the English QWERY keyboard is a “c” on the screen.  And there are no instructions.)

WARNING WARNING about the code:

Now be aware that they used the French Keyboard so when you press "a" you will see a "c" show up on the screen, this is a "bug" only in America and England, and everywhere else that doesn't use the French keyboard. But this is a minor problem, I hope, for you.

See below:

Here are a couple of pictures of the two students, who I hope signed off on a photo release sometime over the weekend, if not, the images will be removed but not the text in the future.  One thing about people in France, the term “Sue” is not really in their vocabulary.  I think it is another word in French.

The artwork of the two students shows a France that I knew was there, from stories from a relative who was there during World War 2, which was not exactly a tourist kind of situation, but still he told of the rolling farm lands and so forth, Stephan and Cyril show France without  the bad guys. 

The art of the game is a reminder of simpler times where the growing of food and preparation of food was a key part of the day and not the glow of the tablet and the harshness of the cheap folding chair labor in a hackathon. 

I got to say that the creation of the gloves with the aluminum foil and the understanding of basic DC electricity is sadly amazing.  Sad because so many students get through DC Circuits without the solid appreciation of how to complete a circuit, and that is sad.  They also engineered and did a good job of laying out the connecting wires and since I have worked as an electrical engineer, one learns an appreciation for the ability to implement wire layouts.  Which if you think about is important for wearable electronics



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Game image:


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