Introduction: Ground Projected Information Display (for Night Jogging)
This will be very short, and not so sweet, kids...
I run at night, while the wee babies are dreaming of a more fit daddy, and the woodland creatures are doing their best to scare me from the roadside (and they do).
I have my iPhone with me for tunes, but I felt that I didn't look stupid enough, so I came up with a chest-mounted ground projection rig. It both illuminates the path (and armadillos) directly in front of me and displays information, such as mileage, time, maps, etc.
I like it. It could be more comfortable to wear, but that's for version 2.
One iPico iPhone projector (only $85!)
An iPhone padded running case
You can project anything on the ground, like Google maps while GPS is running, Youtube videos of countdown digits, etc.
I chose to write myself an iPhone app which does a few things:
1. Displays info I want, such as my mileage and the current time
2. Only projects info when I touch the screen for stealthier animal evasions
3. Constantly samples the iPhone gyro and accelerometer and counter adjusts the projected image. This results in less sway and bounce in the projected image on the ground while running.
The third feature is in prototype phase, so I'm not releasing an app yet (ever?). It works well enough, and the effect is a greatly reduced bouncing of the information circle on the ground in front of me. It feels neat, like an augmented Google Glass display, only everyone can see it! Extra dork points! :D
Step 1: The Projector
The iPico iPhone projector is a great little device for watching movies on the ceiling, sharing photos and videos with the bored neighbors and most importantly, alienating yourself from the entire running community! Yes, it can do that!
When I found these beauties, they were on sale for $85, down from $130! Had to get one just to see. It surprised me how clear and bright the image was actually. I thought it would be muddy, washed out and super low res, but NO!
The rechargeable lithium battery lasts for about 90 minutes on a charge, enough time for exactly 90 of my runs!
There is one free app and one paid app. The paid version is worth the money, since it allows you to project everything... video, photos, facebook, youtube, documents, websites, etc.
The custom app I wrote is setup to display its contents on an external second screen (the projector in this case). The iPhone screen then becomes a trigger to turn on the display. I also had a red flashing hazard light at once point on the screen to warn oncoming geese.
Step 2: The Dork-maker
I pre-cut some velcro strip to wrap around my chest and weave through the straps of my iPhone running case. I fully intend to create a nice padded man bra soon to hold everything and likely water proof it for underwater jogging.
I need to build a proper holster for everything still, but for now, I just stuff the iPhone in the iPhone running case, attach the iPico projector, and wrap the whole thing up with velcro. Not ideal.
So far, it hasn't fallen off during my trial runs. Must go farther than 30 feet next time.
Step 3: The Result So Far
As you can see, it projects a fairly bright image in front of me. It's perfect for quickly looking down to get some info.
It definitely doesn't work in daylight. The LED projector just isn't bright enough. Ok though, I burn easily.