Hardware tinker trapped in a software body

I admit it, I’m a software engineer.  I do have occasional aspirations to be other things, graphic designer, product manager, or yesterday hardware engineer.  In the course of the day had to different but slightly similar hardware product ideas:

WiFi Picture Frame

The do exist, but not quite what I want, very simple requirements:

  • WiFi connected to flickr, picassa, shutterfly, gallery or any other photo service
  • With either an RSS feed or other “fetch” system you can have your photos show up

That’s it… Now you can upload your photos to their normal sharing/printing/etc. site and have them show up at work or over the mantel in “minutes”.  Don’t have to tote around an SD card, don’t have to have a media sharing service.


Working with my U10G Soccer team yesterday afternoon.  The objective of practice was “power kicks”, so in addition to a bunch of words and balls I took my camera to practice for some direct feedback.  I can get 5 fps from my camera, nice.. but demonstrated the need for a dedicated product.

  • 7in diagonal screen – OLED if possible (for use in sunny conditions), though standard LCD is probably the norm for the moment
  • Video capture and compression store to SD card — you could probably get away with a cell phone CCD and compression

Why is it different, it’s the screen!  The idea is that while you’re out with your soccer team, ski team, golf pro, tennis pro they can quickly video “tape” your actions and then show them back to you.  On a screen that is easy to see, the two problems that I had with my camera were:

  • 5fps doesn’t quite cut it — 30 fps would have gotten all of the detail… though for golf/tennis you might want 60120 fps…
  • “viewfinder screen” isn’t really effective for review

I’m sure somebody who’s a hardware hack could build it for under $1000 as a prototype…  Easily retail for < $300 .. market is just about ever “pro” and “pro-shop” who wants to add value to their services… No need to tape, go back to the bar and review, just shoot and go.