The #twatch scrolls the latest trending topics from Twitter on an LCD screen. It's a stand-alone network appliance that stays updated without a PC. It was awesome to watch #iranelection, Michael Jackson, and other historic events scroll by while we developed the #twatch. This Instructable documents the #twatch hardware and design.
In addition to a Twitter trend ticker, the #twatch is also a generic ethernet LCD backpack. It'll show playlists, PC stats, and other info with programs like LCD Smartie. It's also software upgradable, so it's never outdated.
The #twatch is open source, so you can download our designs and build your own.
Seeed Studio has a few assembled #twatch ethernet LCD packpacks for $45, including worldwide shipping. Get them while they last because we won't make more soon. If you missed this project, sign up here to be notified of future #twatch preorders.
See this article with its original formatting at DangerousPrototypes.com, more discussion in the #twatch forum. We'll send a free #twatch PCB if you're the first to tweet the #twatch!
The #twatch grabs the latest trending topics from Twitter, then loads a few tweets for each. The trending topics and tweets scroll on a screen. The #twatch grabs fresh trends and tweets every five minutes so you always see the latest trending topics.
We also added a generic ethernet backpack mode, so the #twatch can also show PC stats from a program like LCD Smartie, more about this feature in part 2.
Step 1: Using it
- Connect it to a home ethernet network with Internet access. The #twatch requires automatic network configuration (DHCP), this is the default setting on almost every modern home network.
- Power it up. The #twatch requires a 6-7volt DC power supply. It uses a 2.1mm DC power plug, the most common type. Universal DC power supplies should include a 2.1mm plug.
- Adjust the contrast. LCD screens change with temperature and age, use the adjustment screw to tweak the screen contrast.
- The #twatch will configure the network settings and begin scrolling the latest trending topics and a few tweets from each. You may need to adjust the contrast again for the cleanest scrolling effect.