Supercon 2017 Badge – Pivot for Project Risk Reduction

The calendar does not lie – it is now Tuesday and Superconference starts Friday. After a day of playing with mTouch on the Curiosity board, I’m no closer to a project that captures my fancy. Time to take off the curious explorer hat and put on the project manager hat. (Assuming that it’s not already too late to do so…)

The fact is that I won’t have the camera badge hardware in my hands until Friday. Despite all the help Microchip tries to give us with libraries for doing mTouch, capacitive touch is finicky and will require tuning. On top of having to get oriented with the rest of the hardware. On top of the rest of the conference going on over the weekend. I don’t want to be so consumed by the project that I miss out on interesting things happening.

I’m sure there are hardware hacker types who has accumulated enough skills and experience to put together something in a short time. I have ambition to build up to that skill level, but I have to accept the fact that I’m not there today. And I’m probably not going to get there by the end of the week. Time to change the focus to something more predictable and less risky for the sake of getting something up and running this weekend rather than risk having nothing at all by the end of the weekend.

The new ideals:

  • External components interface with the camera badge in some way to add to the camera badge functionality.
  • External components do not require the camera badge itself for its basic functions, so I can start building it and debugging it before I get the badge Friday.
  • Integration with camera badge to be kept as simple as possible.
  • Integration should not be “none” – it’d be pointless to build something that works just as well without the camera badge.
  • Even if all integration efforts fail (at worst, integration is “none”) I want to have enough to demo the idea even if it doesn’t work.

The above ideas led me to think about building an electro-mechanical camera accessory. The gears in the brain continue turning…. but soon physical gears will turn, too.

GearBase1

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