A work-from-home “on air” light #CircuitPython #CircuitPlaygroundExpress #Covid #WFH @jkeefe
John Keefe has built a fun “on air” light to to warn family when they risk being broadcast to colleagues on video calls.
I realized this might be possible when my Quartz colleague David Yanofsky mentioned it was possible to monitor the status of a MacBook’s camera using code available on the internet. No matter if I’m Zooming, Bluejeansing, Google Meeting, or FaceTiming, I could programmatically detect whether the camera is on.
Enter a little DIY computer board I’ve been playing with called a Circuit Playground Express, which is loaded with lights and sensors and is super easy to program in a Python variant called CircuitPython. I knew it would be a breeze to get something bright and pretty going in response to my camera status.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.