Campus Party is an amazing opportunity to bond with like-minded gadgeteers and developers. Ideas are formed, moulded and maybe even fully realised at the event. But it can also be a bit daunting if you’ve never experienced it before. So, if you’re stuck for inspiration, we’ve come up with five concepts for apps and solutions to get you started.
Take them: they’re yours. Develop them. Change them. Make them real.
SoundHound/Shazam… for faces
We’ve all been watching a TV programme or film, only to see someone and think “Who is that?” – and then not be able to sleep for thinking about it. Of course, we could spend 10 or 15 minutes on IMDb tracing the actor down. But by that point we’re usually bored, stuck in an internet vortex and already looking up the finer points of the Louisiana Purchase rather than watching the TV.
So, what about an app that lets you point your smartphone or tablet camera at the screen, takes a snap of the unknown face (using facial recognition, of course), and then links to IMDb, Google or Wikipedia to instantly identify them? Of course, we could still get stuck in that internet vortex – but at least it’d be relevant…
Something to help us find lost things
You can find your phone using a ‘Find my phone’ app. Or you can just call it and follow the ringtone. But you can’t ring a set of keys. Or a remote control. Or your passport.
A sticker or chip attached to the thing you don’t want to lose, linked to a simple app that shows the direction of that sticker or chip, would be our saviour in the mornings. Or when we want to go on holiday. Or change the channel. Just follow the arrow: is it blue pointing the other way? You’re cold. Is it red and spinning wildly? You’re hot!
A quick-and-dirty diet coach
There are tons of apps that let you track your diet. They’re clever, too – scan a barcode, enter the quantity of the thing you’ve scanned, and the apps tell you the nutritional content of the food. Add them up and you’ve a comprehensive overview of your diet.
But if you aren’t on some hardcore fitness regime, that’s overkill. A barcode scanner that presents a simple set of traffic lights to let you know whether or not you should really eat that supermarket sarnie could help that guilty conscience no end.
Windscreen wipers… for visors or goggles
A few of us at Stuff Towers are two-wheeled warriors. Some ride motorbikes, some are avid mountain-bikers. And all get fed up with using their hands to smear water and mud all over their nice, clear visors and goggles when it’s raining.
Are you a 3D-printing wiz? Think you can come up with a neat solution for getting rid of the water and crud with one hand? Can it attach to a motorbike helmet? A pair of goggles? Can you squeegee the muck off in one motion? We need your help.
Recreate the Raspberry Pi’s family tree
Go all Jurassic Park on computers from old. We love our Amstrads, Spectrums (Spectra?) and BBC Micros – but we never loved the loading times for the games. You went off for your tea, and came back 20 minutes later either to the fax-machine screech of a still-loading game or, worse, to the dreaded “Read error”.
Can you put all those classic titles on a memory card for a Raspberry Pi? Can you put the Raspberry Pi in an authentic Spectrum, Amstrad or BBC Micro keyboard unit? If so, you’ve the ultimate in retro console gaming – and our endless respect.
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