Nov 7, 2008

Biometric Jewelry

A beautiful necklace, in the form of a celtic knotted triangle, pulsates with red LEDs, displaying the heart rate of the wearer in a shimmering wave effect. Geek gifts of love at their finest.


While exploring the various potentials of working with biometrics, we were thinking of ways to visualize to people around you, your biometric state. We wanted to do this in a pretty, artistic way. Interactive clothing is very popular but there hasn't been a lot done in the realm of jewelry. Since one of the first biometrics projects we worked on was exploring heart rate feedback through a corset, we thought jewelry was a natural progression, a decorative feedback display system.

Read all the details of its creation, hardware, and coding here.

See photos on Flickr, here.

Video of heart rate necklace:

Nov 5, 2008

VFD (Vacuum Florescent Display) Clock

Originally uploaded by geekphysical
After a certain someone nearly threw our 'alarm clock' (mobile phone) out the window the last time Britney Spears woke us up (Blackout has GREAT wake up songs) it was decided that perhaps we should have our own alarm clock. Since a friend inherited 15,000 of said VFD tubes (Russian Made), and had some odds and ends from an electronics factory that were no longer being used; we decided it would be interesting to solve our 'alarm clock problem' with these.

Components are new but have been rejected from the assembly line in the electronics factory, normally due to bent pins and other mild deficiencies. We saved these throw-aways and used them for the clock. The circuit boards used were custom designed and manufactured using a rapid prototyping process (CNC Machining). Three plates (boards) were specifically designed; one for holding the displays and interface button, one for the clock electronics and one for the speaker, and to act as a base for the entire clock.

See full entry here:

Want one? Contact us.

Oct 19, 2008


Originally uploaded by geekphysical
We needed to have an easy way to plug everything in from laptops to soldering irons at the table without tripping over wires...the solution? Hook up a power bar to the lamp.

LEDs + Test Tubes = Fun Lamp

Originally uploaded by geekphysical
Its always a case of looking around when you're working and thinking, what can I do with this stuff? Well, we saw test tubes. We saw LEDs. We knew what to do. Test tube LED lamps! We started by gathering a bunch of test tubes and then found some wood pieces laying around, and gathered up some of our favorite colors of LEDs. We drilled into the wood, with enough room to let the test tube sit comfortably and securely in the hole made and point-drilled down a bit further to allow for room for the LED. We put the LED through the first hole, placed the test tube on top, and connected the LEDs together on the bottom, soldering them together to create a chain which we then connected to a power source (an ac adapter we stripped the end off). We complemented the whole look and feel by changing from test tubes to fluorescent liquid in a bottle - and using UV LEDs. Now our house and offices are full of beautiful little lamps that took us less than 10minutes each to make! Check out the flickr photo stream for more details and step by step photos.

Aug 29, 2008

Message in a balloon

Everybody likes balloons(usually), perhaps everybody just likes helium balloons. Either way, we like balloons. That's what matters. So, much like a message in a bottle, we have created a ‘message in a balloon’.

We wanted to explore how using micropowered devices, we could transmit a message from a satellite to its surrounding environment over long distances. The device which is very small, is loaded with a message and sailed through the air by way of helium balloons (pretty, and functional!). It transmits a message and amateur radio operators, who would be previously informed of the time of the flight, could intercept the message, and enjoy the fun of receiving a message, in a balloon, from far above.

Read more regarding the technology and method used.

Aug 27, 2008

LASER burning

The laser in an DVD player can often deliver more than 150mW of near infrared light. This is strong enough to burn thin black plastic such as a floppy disc or the black foam used for IC's. Just for fun we mounted one of these lasers on a pair of RC-servos and had it write letters on a black piece of foam. See video on

Finding Stuff in the Sky

Playing with RC planes, we quickly determined that it was necessary to track objects which are moving throughout a large area. We needed to keep contact with the object, in our case, the planes since we had a video transmitter within the plane. Thus, had to create an antenna tracker that would scan the sky for a signal and then focus the antenna on our plane. We created this using a microcontroller system hooked up to servos and the antennas and developed a system wherein a spiral path is followed to map out all possible areas. We prototyped it with LEDs and and a phototransistor.


See the video on Blip:

Aug 26, 2008

Self sustaining micropower devices - aka, a sexy new doorsign

GeekPhysical decided it was time for a door sign. Of course, the door sign couldn’t just be a sticker on the door with our names on it, it instead had to be something fantastically geeky, with a challenge of keeping itself powered so we don’t have to replace batteries constantly. The answer: a digital display scrolling our names, powered by tiny solar panels.


Flickr Photos:

GeekPhysical out!