This is my Halloween costume for the year 2013. It’s been in the works for about a year and has taken quite a few man hours to create. The screen is 14 by 15 pixels, so, pretty low resolution but it can still do some fun things. It is physically flexible in all directions, although it cannot be folded without damage. It has a controller consisting of a single button and slide pot, connected to a pro mega via USB. To keep it alive for a long time it employs two monstrous 2200 mAh batteries wired in series to get the necessary voltage, and then a 5 Volt regulator to make it usable. All the electronics are place in pockets on the inside of the shirt so they can be removed and so the shirt can be washed.
It plays a functional game of pong. It first graces one with the words “PONG PLAY” in lovely blue lettering using a modified version of the Tom Thumb font (can be found at http://robey.lag.net/2010/01/23/tiny-monospace-font.html). After five seconds the option can be given to press the button to move on, or to not press the button and leave a perfectly good experience behind. When one chooses to press the button, the game begins. A red paddle on the right is the computer paddle and the green paddle on the right is the player paddle, which is controlled by the slide pot to move up and down. The ball bounces around as each side tries to score a point. The player can hit the ball with the edge of their paddle to speed it up (a nice feature) while the computer cannot do this, and instead ends up being stuck with moving slightly slower than the ball. When a point is scored a pixel changes to white on the scoring sides paddle. It counts in binary from the bottom. where green or red is zero and white is 1. 21 is the score to win (or lose depending on who get’s 21 points) and so when the player paddle reads 10101, the “YOU WIN” text is displayed. Once again in modified Tom Thumb. The same happens but with “YOU LOSE” displayed instead. After a win or loss the game restarts to the point right after Pong Play. To restart entirely the restart button on the “Magic Box”, also known as the-box-with-all-the-electronics-except-the-screen, is pressed.
Check it out in action below and read more here.
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