Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

+ READ ARTICLE

The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

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One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

And the Night Shall be Filled with Music

Picture this: Motor City Blues Queen Thornetta Davis singing to an intimate group inside one of Detroit's most regal homes.

She sways to the beat, her energy growing with the audience's obvious enjoyment. The crowd, all of about 130 people, is quiet, respectful, adoring. Blues in an Old English Castle off of Woodward Avenue? It never sounded better.

This night came together in an unlikely yet ideal setting. Davis was the opening act in a series of nine concerts that are part of the Palmer Woods Music in Homes program. Not only are these concerts entertaining, they are enriching one of Detroit's oldest and most prestigious neighborhoods.

Although Palmer Woods is one of the finest in terms of architecture, landscaping and urban planning, it too is suffering under Michigan's – and particularly Detroit's – long economic malaise. The concerts help raise funds for its neighborhood association, which in turn assures the safety, beauty and quality of life within this largely stable area remains just so.

A little about Palmer Woods. It is a historic, sprawling area of about 300 homes located west of Woodward Avenue and north of Seven Mile Road in Detroit. The houses, built by architectural giants like Frank Lloyd Wright and Albert Kahn, cover a range of styles: Tudor Revival, Neo-Georgian, Mediterranean, Modern and Craftsman.

According to the well-organized community's Web site:

Landscape architect Ossian Simonds laid out the streets of Palmer Woods as curving avenues, breaking the rigid gridiron tradition of Detroit. To control traffic patterns and maintain privacy, the subdivision contained few through streets. Building lots were irregular in size and shape, no two being alike. Names such as Gloucester, Balmoral and Cumberland reflect the influence of English history.

Palmer Woods contains many of the finest examples of creative residential design in the city because the development of the subdivision coincided with the rapid expansion of Detroit's auto industry. In the early 1900s, many major executives from the growing industries built homes and lived a life of opulence and wealth in Palmer Woods. Once home to the Fishers, Van Dusens, Prentises, Sanders, and Briggs families, the classic heritage of this unique neighborhood is still appreciated by the current owners who reside in these magnificent houses.

Longtime Detroit residents Spencer and Barbara Barefield organize the Music in Homes event, now in its third year. From the moment they moved into Palmer Woods some 22 years ago, they knew their house had music in it.

“We looked at our spacious, connected living and dining rooms and knew it had terrific potential as a concert space,” said Barbara, an artist and photographer.

Spencer -- an internationally known jazz guitarist – has long organized musical collaborations. The couple is the founder of the non-profit Creative Arts Collective, which held concerts at the Detroit Institute of Arts. (The concerts there at the DIA were so beloved during their 13-year run that a CD collection of them will be released soon.)

The concert series ended when arts funding crashed during the 1990s. Major jazz, blues and classical artists fled Detroit and Michigan as a whole, the Barefields said. They stayed, mostly because their two children (a musician and artist themselves) were thriving here.

“To survive in Detroit, you have to be innovative … or maybe crazy,” Barbara said. “As many of our musicians left for NYC and Europe, we chose to stay.”

The music never left their house, where they regularly held concerts. Two years ago, the Barefields approached the Palmer Woods Association board with an idea to hold larger musical events – open to the public – inside the many grand homes in Palmer Woods. They nervously agreed.

But as they say: If you build it, they will come. Palmer Woods Music in Homes is probably the only one of its kind in the nation. The Thornetta Davis concert sold out in December – and the Palmer Woods residents hope the other eight will too.

The next concert is Saturday, Jan. 30, and features the Dwight Adams Mardi Gras Ensemble. There will be an artist reception: food, beverages, great conversation. I cannot think of a better way to lose those gray Michigan winter blues.

“By showcasing the amazing talent we have in this area, we are introducing new audiences to both the arts and our unique neighborhood,” Barbara said. “We are supporting historic preservation of our architectural treasures, as well as recognition and respect for Metro-Detroit's gifted musicians.”

(The concerts will end in June with a three-day jazz festival in the Woods, featuring Spencer Barefield at the Frank Lloyd Wright-Turkel home. More to come on this home and this amazing three-day series.)

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 Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

+ READ ARTICLE

The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

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 MIT Student Creates Connect Four Playing Robot for Course Final - TIME
TIME technology

This Robot Would Very Much Like to Play a Game of Connect Four With You

Game on

+ READ ARTICLE

When the singularity finally hits and artificial intelligence takes over everything, at least we know some of the robots will know how to have a good time — like this Connect Four-playing bot, programmed by MIT student Patrick McCabe.

Users can choose between four levels of difficulty and can even ask for a hint if needed. Head over to McCabe’s website for a detailed breakdown of how the machine works. In the meantime, watch here as the bot beats McCabe in the first round — and even taunts him a little bit before clinching the game.

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