DIY projects go high tech, weird at SXSW
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Do It Yourself or “DIY” projects take on a different meaning at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference. The event is held in Austin--a town which prides itself on being 'weird.'
The Create Tent at South by Southwest has several perfect examples, like tables of people sewing technology. For example, eTextile Lilypads from a company called Sparkfun Electronics.
“The battery pack is really small,” said Dia Campbell of Sparkfun Electronics. “It's in the back and a tiny little LED and all you're doing is sewing that LED to the battery pack with silver-coated conductive thread, and that lights it up, no wires, no soldering. It's a really safe way to teach kids about electronics.”
Right next door, Texas Instruments showed off its MCU Launchpads for creating everything from helicopters to video game machines, and even high tech coolers.
“There's coolers out there today that have speakers inside them, but what's cool about this is you could put your phone in a waterproof case and throw it around to your buddies while you're tubing down the river,” said Trey German of Texas Instruments. “You know they can change the music, pick different songs.”
Finally, how about making artwork - out of bacteria.
“We're using a very, very simple model organism, a safe strain of E. coli, that's been genetically engineered to glow green or red in the presence of ultraviolet light,” said Wythe Marschall of Observatory Gallery. “We're asking people to make small paintings with either green or red, and we're going to put them together as pixels to make a big mosaic of a unicorn, which is the symbol of hybridity. Everyone knows a unicorn is part one thing part another thing.”
To check out the progress of what is probably the world's first ever giant unicorn-shaped piece of bacteria, head over to CutPasteGrow.com