Topic: Alarms and touch screen

1) it is not clear to me how I would "interact" with chumby.  I've read mention of touch screen and some squeeze pressure sensor.  Can someone explain about this further?

2) Is it possible to assign your own alarms?  What sound formats can I use and what is the storage capacity available for alarms?

Re: Alarms and touch screen

The chumby is not a primarily interactive device like a PDA or desktop computer.  It's generally meant to be used in a somewhat passive manner - it churns through information that you've specified for it to display.

However, the device does have several useful sensors.  Stitched into the fabric of the enclosure is a bend sensor that detects if you gently squeeze the upper right side of the device.  It also has a touchscreen.  In addtion, it has an ambient light sensor and a sensor that detects whether it's running from AC or its little 9V battery.

All of these sensors are exposed to software with Linux device drivers and accessible from the Flash layer.

At the moment, the bend sensor brings up a "Control Panel", that in turn uses the touchscreen to let the user configure various settings on the device, such as Wifi, alarm, time, calibration of the sensors, etc.

Some of the widgets also use the touchscreen to allow the user to (optionally) interact with them.  It's possible for a widget to be a Flash game, like the ones that run in the browsers.

You can also add USB peripherals to the external USB port - the chumby has USB mouse and keyboard drivers, though neither are currently exposed to the Flash player in the current revision.

Users don't typically configure the content for the device on the device itself - they use the web site for that.

The biggest issue we've had to confront with chumby is that folks try to think about the device as something like a PDA, phone or desktop computer when it's none of those things.

In the current software revision, the alarm is fixed to a built-in alarm sound - you were supposed to be able to specify a sound but unfortunately there's a bug that makes that fail.  However, in later versions of the software you'll be able to specify what you want to have happen - music, a Flash movie, or whatever.

Re: Alarms and touch screen

Are the squeeze sensor, touch screen and ambient light sensor, seperate types of events in a flash widget or Linux application?

For example could a flash widget respond to ambient light changes?

Re: Alarms and touch screen

Yes - all of the sensors are accessible from Flash.

In the current software revision, the player has additional ASnative calls, but for production the sensors will be accessible through the FSCommand2 interface as officially preferred for FlashLite

Re: Alarms and touch screen

thanks for answering my questions thus far.

Is there any chance that chumby will have a way to support MIDI files for alarms?

some pros for this approach:
1) midi files are small, so people can have many of them in the 64mb memory
2) The 'device sound" implementation of Flash Lite can inferface with a MIDI synth which could be useful for small file size alert sounds when data arrives through a flash widget.
3) there is a great deal of MIDI based ringtone content already on the market for users to select from.

1) I guess it is another thing to deal with
2) I am not sure if there are open source MIDI synths for LINUX that are cpu efficient for consumer electronics.
3) some people think MIDI sounds "cheesy" but that really depends upon the production of the MIDI file and the host synthesizer sound bank.

Re: Alarms and touch screen

Just having a deja vu moment...would I have had a MIDI based music program with piano overlay for my Commodore 64 keyboard??? Whatever it was, it provided hours of fun...happy memories!

Re: Alarms and touch screen

Well, it does look like you've listed exactly the same list of pros and cons I would.

I'll look into it.  There are some Open MIDI players for Linux - the biggest con issue you didn't list would be the size of reasonable quality sound samples for the synthesizer to use to create the audio.

8 (edited by hp3 2006-10-29 06:26:35)

Re: Alarms and touch screen

that can depend upon the type of synthesis.

FM synthesis does not require large sound banks like wave table.  I am not sure to what extent you would fine open source FM synthesizers.

Here is a list of audio engines optimized for mobile devices.  I do not recall if any of these are linux specific and most are license rather than open.

Re: Alarms and touch screen

Mp3 seems like a much better option. Or an online streaming solution. Codecs are freely available.

need upload space for the forums or a chumby blog? right here then
username is chumby
password is chumby


Re: Alarms and touch screen

mp3 decoders should not be free, they should be licensed from Thompson Multimedia.  There may be free decoders out there but usually consumer electronics manufacturers have to license mp3 decoders. 

Flash has a built-in decoder, but Flash does not support packet streamed mp3, only progressive load.

Another option would be the OGG Vorbis decoder which, I believe, is a free decoder,  It also has a reputation for providing better audio quality at lower bitrates than mp3 and is supported by icecast streaming audio server (another xiph project).