People have asked what is the impact of 'free' CPUs. Something Dave Rosenthal realized way back in the 90's was that the electronics for driving a display could be printed on the margins of the display and eliminate the need for a separate controller board. Having watched the evolution of displays and seeing Mary Lou Jepsen's work on the PixelQi and other screens it became fairly clear that it still made sense to use silicon for the controller and glass for the elements, but once you get to OLED technology (no backlight) and printing on plastic substrates then you reach the point where you can imagine something like this project but the size, weight, and thickness of a Polaroid picture rather something the size of a cigarette box.
At its simplest, imagine an OLED display driven by reading out an EPROM printed on the borders. Your camera encodes the image in the EPROM and then whenever you apply power to the "picture' it shows the one image.
Certainly something there to explore, a number of engineering challenges between there and a product though.
A polaroid picture that starts playing as soon as you attach it to a suitable power source (please make it something standard like an AA battery or USB cable), on the other hand, is something you can keep in a box in the attic for your grandchildren to find after you're gone. It's not just a display, it's a read-only snapshot and air-gapped backup of a moment of your life.
Unlikely, unless it's very carefully engineered. For example, the flash life of most microcontrollers is measured in decades.
There are many enemies of electronics: water, bumps, component failures, etc. that make long term non-specialized storage likely to fail
The trend is, and I believe will continue to be, not using your own memory for long term storage. It's a nearly impossible task. If you're storing anything important on a single device, be it a single use display, or a cellphone, or a memory card/disk, you will lose that data, 100% guaranteed.
We're already moving towards transparent backup of all user data. This trend will continue, because people will become more and more aware that they can't save their own data.
I wouldn't be surprised if they were still around in a few decades' time - there's simply too much cheap consumer electronics out there relying on AA for it to make sense to introduce a new standard. (Energy density is likely to keep increasing - but as for the form factor itself, I suspect it will outlive me.)
But that's only necessary if you can't get hold of a source of electricity (such as a wireless receiver) and a voltage regulator of some sort (likely to exist as part of said wireless receivers).
In the past we've had problems recovering data from magnetic disks and the like, but powering ancient devices with simple power input requirements have not generally been very hard, and it's not likely to become so anytime soon unless not just every computer but every lightbulb, kettle, electrical oven and every other little appliance suddenly start receiving energy in a fundamentally different way.
Amazing how technology has advanced.
All of this is viable and cheaper than ever, but the culture has moved on.
edit: actually from the video description these are still released with new content in Japan
Or that Weird Al would release ones shaped like (a cartoonish version of) himself with the headphone plug located between his butt cheeks.
There's something along those lines - MQS SD:
For a ridiculous markup (I think they were like $80+) you could buy an iPod sized device that held a single audiobook. They were gimmicked up to look like a tiny plastic hardcover with basic nav buttons on the side.
They've pushed an eBook standard where you buy a dedicated reader, then buy proprietary memory cards in sleeves much like the ones used for compact cassettes - the idea being that people want something tangible, even when buying eBooks. (The cynical among us assume they just invented that tangible bit to have people still come to tangible bookstores, but that is another story)
It has not turned out to be a massive success. Cough.
The advantages of the Scandinavian social-welfare systems are well-known. What are some (unrelated to the problem of funding welfare) economic problems faced by Norway? You just cited an interesting one.
I remember a story about milk import restrictions, but I could be very mistaken. But anyway, between the effects of oil exports on exchange rates (alternatively, the problems of exchange rate controls), the relatively small domestic market, the limits on land occupation further North, etc. -- the economy of Norway must be fascinating.
Norwegian farming (including dairy/milk products) is tightly regulated and subsidized, basically a necessity if one is to farm here at all - after all, (slight exaggeration) mountains everywhere and winter half the year does not lend itself well to farming.
Result being that most all vegetables, meats and dairy products are purchased from farmers by cooperatives; the prices are set by the authorities as part of negotiations with the farmers' association annually. These cooperatives then sell the produce on to retailers and industry, ensuring a steady income to farmers.
This model wouldn't work if the same products could be freely imported from countries more suited (less mountains, less winter!) to farming - so we impose heavy tariffs on most products from abroad - with exemptions for produce from some of the least developed countries.
For instance, lamb is taxed at 429% on the goods value to make import prices comparable to the cost of producing it in Norway. Same goes for a number of dairy products - we have import quotas on, say, cheese - and if imports are too large in a given year, heavy tariffs are imposed to limit it.
The upside to this policy is that it is possible to make a living from farming even in the subarctic regions; it can be argued (IMHO, rightly so, even if it clashes with my libertarian credentials!) that farming is beneficial to local communities - unless the pastures are tended to, the part of the country which is not barren mountain would be covered in shrubs in no time at all.
The downside, obviously, being that food is much more expensive than it needs be; this issue is countered to a large extent by our petroleum-boosted economy, ensuring that even at the artificially inflated prices, food is comparatively cheap in Norway. Also, as the tariffs are not imposed only on basic foodstuffs, it ensures that specialities which already fetch a premium in global markets - think pata negra etc. - are outrageously expensive here.
In broader terms, one of our major challenges in the decades to come is that we've tended to solve - nah, make that postpone - any problem by throwing petrodollars at it; as oil production decreases, we've got some pretty tough choices ahead as income slows while expenses skyrocket.
For instance, we've relied on a pay-as-you-go pensions system; as people tend to live longer (and we've, to an extent (exaggeration again) kept unemployment numbers artificially low by providing disability benefits to the long-term unemployed), this is not sustainable (same situation as in a number of developed countries).
Now, pensions is to an extent cushioned by our close-to-a-trillion USD petroleum fund, but then there's all sorts of other obligations - say, tax-funded healthcare, (very) generous sick leave terms &c.
So - we'll need to axe our expenses, but in our very consensus-driven political system, no politician would dare step forward and actually DO something - after all, that would see his or hers chances of reelection plummet. You don't win elections by promising people that they will get less paid in retirement or when ill.
Oops. I just noticed that you said 'unrelated to the problem of funding welfare.' My bad.
A number of sectors face issues similar to that of the publishing industry - it is a small market, and with Norwegian hardly being a world language (All told, some 5 million native speakers), anything involving the Norwegian language sooner or later becomes an effort to prop it up - so publishing is not seen just as publishing; it is an effort to keep Norwegian alive and well. This has led to legislation which - believe it or not - makes it illegal to sell newly published books at a discount; this is to ensure that publishers get a decent return on translating and publishing books in Norwegian, but leads to such absurd situations like me wishing to buy the latest Jo Nesbo thriller as an eBook would cost me more than buying it on dead trees (as a 25% sales tax is imposed on eBooks, while paper books are exempt), but buying the same book on my Kindle or on paper via Amazon, translated into English, can be done at (typically) less than 20% of the over-the-counter Norwegian price.
Again, I can see where the advocates of such policies are coming from, but it does mean that we have a number of sectors of our economy which needs to be protected from the world at large through quotas and taxes. Now, obviously, everyone thinks their own sector is special and needs this kind of protection, whereas all others are just freeloading whiners who make everything more expensive than it needs to be for the rest of us.
Rant over. (I'll try to compose something a bit more articulate if some of the above piqued your interest. :)
Norway is usually held up as the singular exception of the Resources Curse of oil because of its long-term commitment to a Sovereign Fund. Interesting to see that this is true, but kind of exists within the boundaries of the welfare-state-in-an-aging-society system.
Also, it probably helped that we were a society with (relatively speaking) small differences and no real tradition for a pronounced upper class.
This, however, is just unfounded musings on my behalf.
Then again, are single use phone chargers any more ecologically horrifying than non-rechargeable AA batteries or have they simply been around for much longer and have become mundane.
I've got a battery bank integrated into my wallet anyway, so I won't be caught out.
Even now with that all being paper, I'm sure most of it goes to the trash and not to recycling because of how ripped up and soiled it gets.
Bitcoin mining consumes enormous amounts of electricity, which is why miners seek out locations that offer cheap energy. The Ordos mine was set up in 2014, making it China’s oldest large-scale bitcoin mining facility. Bitmain acquired it in 2015. It’s powered by electricity mostly from coal-fired power plants. Its daily electricity bill amounts to $39,000. Bitmain also operates other mines in China’s remote areas, like the mountainous Yunnan province in the south and the autonomous region of Xinjiang in the west.
Coal is a killer in China. Coal burning and the secondary effects of sulfate and nitrate contribute to almost half of the dangerous air pollutants in China's polluted cities, compared to 20% from car emissions.
Actually, it's 0.08% and rising. The energy for 1 transaction could power almost 6 U.S. homes for a full day.
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) July 20, 2015
Gold mining doesn't provide a useful service in return, huh?
As will_brown pointed out, Bitcoin isn't a necessary ingredient in smartphones, electronics, jewelry, medicine, dentistry, aerospace, glassmaking, like gold is.
Forget about US homes: How many homes in underdeveloped countries could one Bitcoin transaction power?
You're saying that because worldwide production of gold is so small and insignificant and practically useless compared to Bitcoin, and since only 5% is used for anything but bullion or jewelry, it doesn't matter and it's absolutely irrelevant to the discussion at hand that the smartphone and computer that you're using contains and depends on gold?
If not for gold, then how would you be communicating your strong confident words and impressive sounding but inaccurate numbers with us? Do you use bitcoin in your smartphone instead of gold?
Where did you get your "less than 0.01%" number and your gold-free smartphone? Is it made of clay?
Which yields 0.0148%. So you're right, not less than 0.01%, less than 0.015% instead. Still a far cry from 0.08$.
I would really like to know when have I said my smartphone was gold-free, how that is in any way relevant to the discussion anyway and not a completely inane pseudo-gotcha, I would like to know why you keep linking bitcoin mining to coal (another completely transparent appeal to emotion), I would like to know when have I said worldwide production of gold is insignificant... I would like to know all those things but from the tone of your confident lecture responding to points I didn't even make I conclude you're not really into discussing this. Intellectual dishonesty is more your thing, I presume.
And my point is that gold (of which, again, 95% is "useless" in the sense of not being destined to any practical application) costs on the order of ~1MWh per ounce to mine. At a yearly production of ~3000 metric tons that comes to 109TWh, almost an order of magnitude more than bitcoin.
How much is used by a single DuckDuckGo / Bing / Google search? Or Reddit post? Or email?
According to a 2009 post by Google: Together with other work performed before your search even starts (such as building the search index) this amounts to 0.0003 kWh of energy per search, or 1 kJ.
How much energy is required for one Google search? - Quora
How much electricity does an American home use? In 2015, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month. Oct 18, 2016
How much electricity does an American home use? - FAQ - U.S. ... - EIA
So if "Electricity consumed per [Bitcoin] transaction (KWh)" is 173.00 kwh, and one Google search consumes 0.0003 kwh, then you can perform 173.00 / 0.0003 = 576,666.67 google searches (over half a million) per Bitcoin transaction.
If a house used 10812 / 365 = 29.62 kwh per day, then you can perform 29.62 / 0.0003 = 98,733.33 Google searches with the energy it takes to power a house for a day, or power the house for (24 * 60 * 60) / ((10812.0 / 365) / 0.0003) = 0.875 seconds with one Google search, if these gold-free clay tablets are as accurate as news reports say they are.
...or imagine a display that includes a photovoltaic panel taking up most of the area of each pixel to power the device using ambient light, with a tiny electronically steerable LED that points in the direction of whoever is watching (and if multiple people are watching, just switch rapidly between them). The display would appear very bright but use so little energy that it could be powered by ambient light. In principle.
Fun to imagine that the Harry Potter Universe is really just a bunch of people that have inherited super advanced nano technology from some alien race that long ago arrived as refugees escaping some galactic war that devastated their planet.
After millennia they've lost touch with their history and only their access to their old technology remains. Technology that can only be accessed via a DNA marker.
This type of technology is able to bend space and time, hence the ability to jump through space.
Their low-power daylight-friendly monitors are only available on eBay as far as I've found.
You can buy a few devices with Pixel Qi screens, but the R&D certainly seems to have gone through a few slow years. I hope they can bounce back, their screen tech had some clear strengths (low power, readable in sunlight, and with a faster refresh rate than e-Ink displays).
EDIT: Looks like Pixel Qi is no more, but a company called Tripuso acquired the rights to manufacture the displays that Pixel Qi developed:
It would be fantastic to be able to bring my laptop into the sunlight for work. And with the expectation of greatly improved battery life.
Edit: Ooh, I found Liquavista: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6tzaIgZKs0
Edit2: And Electrowetting as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf1GjCaYzYg
Hmm, why isn't this in use.
OLED was hung up for years because the blue pixels had 1/100 to 1/10 the lifetime of the red and green one.
In addition, you would be stunned at just how good our visual system is at picking out imperfections. Anything less than perfect (especially involving green) will produce complaints.
After both of those, you can talk about cost and efficiency.
And I think you're point is on point: people would buy these and not be happy with them, because they want a real monitor. There's also a group of people who want them just to be able to ready articles and write articles (and code, etc) outside, and without charging a battery as often, and would be happy with lo-fi graphics.
At least the screens are still being made.
The cost&size of flash and a TCON to play back a moving image is pretty damn low in 55nm from SMIC though. Less than a buck certainly. OLED and battery will be your dominant costs.
E-ink supports colors and videos nowadays. (unfortunately the ebook readers still use the older monochrome e-ink generation. e.g. Amazon has little initiative as the went with LCD Kindle Fire for video and colors)
From start to finish, this project has helped the person develop a complete (or nearly so) set of manufacturing skills. An idea was taken from concept, on through a multitude of other steps (design, prototyping, software development, hardware development, etc), to producing a final working "product".
Now - it seems from the comments in the album that this isn't the authors first go at such a project, but it may have been one of the most complex or largest they have done. Regardless of that, it has helped them to hone and develop a complete set of skills very few people have.
Heck - I would encourage the author to try turning this project, or something similar, into a MOOC in some manner; I don't know if this is possible, or if it has been done before, but I bet there's a growing audience of people who'd love an all-in-one course to study to gain such skills. Part of the problem of implementing such a thing as a MOOC is whether a person has access to the needed tools and equipment; maybe that could be part of any pre-req's? Or, maybe people would pay for such a course, and parts or tools could be provided (kinda like those "boxed recipe meals" you can get)?
Ultimately, I liked seeing this project; even though to me it seemed "frivolous", it really is a physical form of "random play coding exercises" software engineers do from time to time, in order to learn a new language or framework, or just to try out ideas or whatnot. Such a project thus becomes a education and learning opportunity of a very intense sort.
If this individual hasn't gotten any job offers or such, I would seriously question "why not?" - they have shown a level of competence and follow through rarely seen in a single individual, and they should be considered a valuable asset to a company (that, or this person needs to create a startup or something).
A good way to make that better is building one's own OS image. Once you get the scripts running (which is fairly easy), you can customize them to your liking, preinstall your software and config, etc.
There's a lot of opportunities to save power and make the bootup quicker if you look through the scripts.
It goes to show how the average person thinks - everything has to be about the ability to make money, right? Why should anybody do ANYTHING if it's not aimed at directly producing income? So few people remotely understood that this has NOTHING to do with the final product and its (non-)place in the world. This is about learning a lot about every step, from concept and design to an extremely complex production process, of a single interesting idea. No, it's not about patenting. No, it's not about mass-producing in China to get-rich-quick. No, it's not about showing off "an amazing 23rd century Apple product", which it is clearly not.
Reading deep into the comments about his resulting product made me even more cynical about the average population. People just don't get it. The overall assumption is he's trying to invent the latest thing to sell people. The only reason to do anything in life must be backed by capitalist ambition! It is an idea, brought to fruition by one man's amazing ability to dedicate himself to learning - and performing - the entire process. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR OWN SKEWED INTERPRETATION OF HIS SUPPOSED INTENTIONS.
tldr; People's obsession with capitalism seeps into everything they come across. You can't share the result of your labour without people only being able to see the possibilities from a capitalist point of view. Everything is viewed from a capitalist (if not, then political) standpoint; anything else is apparently unfathomable.
tldr #2; I am envious of this product's creator. I wish I had even 5% of the creator's vision, ingenuity, ambition, or skill - let alone all four of those attributes.
It might not be where you end, but it's a great place to start. (fwiw, I do all my 3D design with OpenSCAD. Been using it since 2011.)
The breadth of skills needed to do this all yourself is quite impressive!
Seems like you're proposing an environmental disaster.
...and even that may not be. I only say that it might, because I have a credit-card sized (it looks identical to a credit card - same size, same thickness) device from my bank, that was given to me as a customer for generating a 2-factor authentication number. The number is displayed as a set of 6 7-segment digits on such a display. I've had it for over 15 years, and it is still running off its original battery.
That said, I've never seen such a display which was larger than what is on my card, nor one that had color (the one on my card is a "greyish-green" color). Plus the displays are very slow to update (but, like e-ink displays, they don't need power to retain the image - at least in the short term; over time, the numbers on mine "degrade").
But supposedly, when the card's battery is "used up", and the card no longer works, you're supposed to cut it up along certain "lines" printed on the back of the card, and throw it in the trash. I doubt that it is biodegradable, but it might be recyclable.
Few decades later this will fall off from reality, of course (if we'll still retain the strict sense of reality then at all).
Upd: supporting your point, I suggest all people here evaluate buying this thing vs. buying a tablet with only two functions: view gallery and view image (and seamlessly download these from fixed photostream that you can post to as a remote contributor).
Step 1: Have the idea.
Step 2: Implementation.
We're already half way there!
Of course it might be that OP evaluated that and decided against it for good reasons.
Ethernet just works it's an established protocol and there aren't that many easy ways to transfer files other than it today that work out of the box and with any combination of hardware and software.
Serial I/O is common Hello World example for Raspberry Pi. I think you have to worry about less things than adhoc wifi networks.
> likely much slower
It's slower, but not much slower. The baud rate can be set up to 4,000,000, where a megabyte would transfer in 2 seconds. These "gifs" don't seem to be more than 10 seconds long, so they should be less than 1 MB, judging from random Giphy mp4s.
No, connect them via the USB and configure one of them to appear as a USB Network Interface. Point-to-point connection established. Plenty of HOWTO's available.
My point is that making those types of custom, physical connections are kind of a manufacturing nightmare. If the hobbyist that did this was able to do it with WiFi with no need for more manufacturing and making sure the sled would be able to reliably push the pins in every time, then WiFi was the right call in my eyes!
I wonder if there's not an off-the-shelf connector that can be used to route power and USB signals which would fill the role. There's nothing saying the connector has to be small, the entire back and underside of the cartridge is available for the purpose. The original Polaroid film packs had two large pads on the bottom and the camera two long springs to connect with them to provide power from the pack to the camera. However, Polaroid didn't have to contend with ejecting the entire pack with every photo.
My bias says that using wifi adds complexity, but I can see that getting the physical connector right is also not as simple as it first appears.
Edit: Oh dear, I see you're the creator. I guess I misunderstood. How do the pins play in to the design if not to connect the two devices?
Also, you replied to the creator of the camera, so I'm going to guess he knows best :)
The demo makes me wanna take a picture like that and give the cartridge away. Maybe if it can get under $10 that would be feasible? And before that, at $20 or $30 they could sell them at theme parks where they take your picture in a roller coaster.
So you can probably home-build it for $15. If you're a startup in Shenzhen it might be feasible to sell them assembled for $10 and make a nice profit if you can sell a million of them.
[edited per comments]
Recall that these kinds of "motion picture cards" have been around for decades; at least 40 or 50 years, maybe longer. If such a camera (or even a home-based process) could have been built for consumer use, it probably would have been sold. The fact that it wasn't, and the fact that even during all these years there haven't been many manufacturers of such images, should give you an idea of how difficult registration of the image stripes with the lens can be. A purely mechanical process (printing the image onto some kind of paper, then laminating the lens over the top) probably can't be easily (or cheaply) done - otherwise it likely would have been.
That's just my take on things, of course; maybe I'm completely wrong, or there's some method or such I am missing that could make the system easier to build today? I do think the idea of "reverse printing" might be a step toward it. I can't think of how you'd build such a thing to be hand-held, but I can imagine a desktop-sized machine being potentially possible (again, using some kind of close-imaging camera or some other method to register the printing of the images with the individual lenses on the plastic).
It'd also be reusable!
(disclaimer: I've never used them and have no affiliation)
Imagine placing one of these images on machine for say telescope positioning and performing a controlled rotation with a perfectly immobile observer. You could probably get 100+ frames. Now imagine pulling it out of your wallet and playing with it the car. A dozen frames at most?
Exposure compensation dial.
I noticed the author decided to use metric thread machine hardware. He's probably an American because he specified McMaster-Carr as a source.
#4 and #6 machine screws are a lot less costly here and available everywhere. (Your hard drive screws are 6-32, same as the electrical wall boxes; floppy 4-40)
I personally hate unified threads, on the basis that the rest of the world uses iso threads. But this is one of those times that being a pedant about it would increase the cost.
but thats none of my business tho
My high school English teacher would not have accepted "language evolves" as an excuse for things like confusing "then" and "than" and not knowing the meaning of the word "literally".
Of course, words don't have universal meanings. Lawyers and scientists use the word "theory" differently, for example. In any given environment, you should use words the way the people you need to communicate with expect them to be used.
Wait; can't call it that because it loops by default.
Gif it is, then.
Apple calls them live photos, I like it.
A few months ago a friend was asking whether I know a service to convert a gif to a video. Which was also sad.
Also this is one of problems I have with Imgur. How to archive such detailed imgur post?
I have tried ripme (great for grabbing image sets without addnotations), printscreen browser extensions (mixed results - most do not cope with floating menus and have problems with dynamic image loading), page saving or printing via browser (similar problems with dynamic loading).
Does anyone have seen something that could archive imgur post with all content?
Eh, I thought this was a point where they made the wrong call. You can get a much better result for less money and less personal time invested - just wait a week or two - by sending your Gerbers off to be manufactured. PCB manufacture is dirt cheap and has extreme quality compared to home-etching your boards.
Also it boils down to personal need. This is hand crafted and tailored piece. With this setup you can easily modify and correct everything to work.
It would be very neat to have a credit card sized screen with a micro-controller and a bit flash doing the work rather than a full-sized computer.
For those on the cross-roads of life..
Consider NYU's ITP program to be your next spring-board into the future: https://tisch.nyu.edu/itp
you won't regret it.
Boy that would be something.
"GIF" = short video
The most broad definition: To make an impression or set a mark upon a surface. You could easily call this printing.
A lady was looking at me menacingly in a store today as I used the cardboard bags.
In order to maximize the effect, the cartridge should be programmed to "develop" the initial image with a visual effect from a black screen, and then hold there for a few seconds. And then, when the person you're showing off to starts to think "Ah, this is just a digital version of a Polaroid photo--that's not so impressive," that is when you start looping the animation.
You have to give the person a chance to make an assumption before you break it.
I wish I had the wherewithal to have applied myself in college and learned more than I just needed to learn!
This behavior alone has convinced me to never consider their products. Which is sad, I could see myself using the product for my own projects, but I don't want to do business with spammers.
I'm sorry to see you think this is spam, but I mostly comment on the posts that we have sent on HN, or on posts about Raspberry Pi to let people know about the platform
I think I mostly do about one comment per week, so I don't feel like spamming exactly :)
I take your point and I will state my affiliation clearly next time, thanks!
Walking around with a hammer looking for ras-pis.