Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Play & Work MAKES US ALL THUMBS!

We once used varied and intricate movements to routinely manipulate objects. Play involved touching, feeling and building. Toys like Jenga bricks, Silly Putty, Pick-up Sticks and even classic ABC blocks frequently titillated our digits. Now, we’re all thumbs.
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I know, our thumbs separate us from the monkeys. But think about what we use them for. We spend hours each day killing X-Box Creatures, driving an Italian plumber in his cart, dialing phones, texting emoticons and textcronyms and poking a space bar. Our thumbs are so imprecise we’ve had to make the spacebar literally 5 times the size of a normal letter key. (at least that’s what my Macbook Pro proves). Why are we so thumb-centric?

Are we destined to be slaves to our thumbs? Not if fellow inventaholics focus on the Body-Product interface. As an inventor I strive to implore new uses of ordinary objects. I also spend time thinking about how our bodies can/should interface with those objects. Every product at some point in its life interfaces with humans. Shouldn’t that experience be enjoyable.

Here is a prototype of a new type of RC Car I invented. It’s called “BongoCargo” and its name speaks for itself. I replaced the thumbtroller with Bongos and find it a blast to play with. Same RC goodness with new whole-hand flavor!

It was built using a $15 RC Car from Radio Shack, a Basic Stamp Education Board also from Radio Shack and a circuit board and relays also from… heck, I got all the parts at Radio Shack!

It was a simple and fun build. If enough people are interested, email or comment, I’ll post the schematics and source code.

Enjoy the Video. I’m planning on bringing it to Makers Fair in San Mateo. Come play with it or build your own and we can play together. As always, I’m glad to answer any questions so ask away.

Video Copyright 2008-2009 Perry Kaye, Music by “Yon4z” Album “Like My Bitch” from “www.Archive.Org”

You have an idea? Welcome...

America was once spattered with an army of masons, cobblers, blacksmiths and farriers. Workers who created the tools they needed because there was no Home Depot. These people defined themselves by their work and earned a sense of pride performing it. Even Doctors where once craftsman. They visited their patients and performed 'miracles' using candlelight and crude tools. Miracles? Maybe. But more practical is the thought that passionate beings seeking solutions are wellsprings of ideas.

Reading about inventors one may think, they are a lucky lot or that they're imbued with magical powers. But the real secret is that inventors are ordinary people. We're just a little more technically attuned and passionate about what we do. And that gives us, meaning you and me, an opportunity to discover new tools/techniques to advance our craft. We know there is a better way and we seek to expose it.

America has always been a fertile haven for inventive people. Ideas are listened to, maybe not bought into, but certainly listened to. And that is more than can be said about many other countries. In America you can try your idea and see if it works. And inventing is easy... the only thing holding most of us back is our lack of building knowledge and skill.

You've probably already invented a few things too because as humans our minds work to solve. We see a problem and our brain tells us, "I wish I had a tool that did..." And for many the tool never makes it passed the wish.

That is why I've created inventaholic.com. Here I will reveal techniques, tools and strategies for you to innovate, prototype and build products. The goal is to give everyone the tools needed to innovate and then see what happens.

Not everything will be successful. It's a bumpy road, for sure, but it is a fantastic ride. And one I hope you'll venture upon because in the end it is most rewarding.

My next post is about a new RC Car I invented that works using Bongos. See the video and learn how I created it. If you like this post or have questions, feel free to contact me or post them here.

Regards,
Perry Kaye
inventaholic#1