Unlocking Today's Innovations: Top 5 Open-Source and Tech Projects of the Week

It can be almost impossible to keep up with the march of technology – and this week alone, tech-watchers will have been spoilt for choice as to what to get their gadget-geek fingers into. For those who revel in the hacker ethos, the open-source movement and for anyone who likes to tinker, there are some brilliant Raspberry Pi-powered, health-tracking, 3D photography throwbacks to delight in this week. Here’s our high-spirited round-up.

Raspberry Pi Reimagines Nostalgia with the Pocket-Sized "Love Tester"

Injecting Modern Tech into Classic Fun

The classic love tester, ubiquitous in arcades and fairgrounds, has been updated to a Raspberry Pi-powered, palm-sized version, hacked together by a fan. The device assesses compatibility between users by measuring their galvanic skin response – a postmodern twist on a classic pastime. It is chiefly cute rather than scientific, but then there has always been a lot more of the former than the latter when it comes to elucidating the complex state of human love.

Transforming Car Tech into Portable Gaming with Raspberry Pi

A Novel Approach to Handheld Consoles

Here, a tinkerer has used a car reverse camera monitor to build a handheld gaming console. The guts of a Raspberry Pi were grafted on to a 3D-printed frame surrounded by custom buttons and toggles. The metaphor here is one of open-market efficiency, but the action is what we do with the commodity: the freedom of open tinkering.

YouTube Music's Android Update: A Cure for Earworms

Harnessing Technology to Identify Songs on a Whim

The days of humming a tune to your friends and hoping they pick it up are over Thanks to the latest release on Android of the YouTube Music app, users can hum, whistle or sing into their device, and YouTube Music will recognise the tune. It is one of many new sound recognition features coming to the app, leveraging YouTube’s vast music library to make it easier to find songs. This shows the power of sound recognition to make our lives easier and more fun.

HealthyPi Move: Pioneering Open-Source Fitness Tracking

Prioritizing Privacy in Health Monitoring

HealthyPi Move exists within the space between health matters, tech and privacy. It marks the first time an open-source design has been introduced into the health tracker market. The schematics and code is all online for those who want to build a device themselves. For others who would rather buy, the crowdfunding campaign will get them an early prototype of a fitness tracker where they own their own data.

Acer Breaks New Ground with 3D Photo and Video Camera

Previewing Tomorrow's Tech at an Affordable Price

On the eve of Computex, Acer has unveiled a new 3D camera that takes photos and videos which will work with 3D monitors to make them jump off the screen. Not only does it highlight the potential of 3D visual technology, it is also another indicator that we’re at a stage with such technology that it can be made available at low price points for consumers. It’s expected to go on sale in Q3 of this year for $549.

Exploring the Essence of "OPEN"

Celebrating Open-Source Innovation and Community

‘Open’ is often the mantra of techies: by encouraging transparent, collaborative, and shared innovation free of vast monopolies, it epitomises the spirit of democracy at its most playful. This week’s stories in a nutshell: open any way you like it, from open hardware (the HealthyPi Move schematics are out in their entirety) to open computing (Raspberry Pi projects once again show us the joy that comes through reuse) to open music tech (photogrammetry has made a huge step toward shared innovation along the path to your favourite song).

Even if we take the long view that these developments suggest – that the open-source ethos is not just about access (to technology) but access to the technology-culture experience itself – it would seem the cachet of open remains the promise of a coming sociotechnical landscape where, by and for the people, technology will be.

In embracing ‘open’, we are not just advocating for innovation, but also cultivating a global community of knowledge-sharing and creativity.

Jun 02, 2024
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