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OpenXC provides car data for cool hacks

[Video Link] OpenXC is our partner Ford's open-source platform that connects smart phones and tablets to real-time vehicle data. Boing Boing and Ford provided access to the platform (along with simulated and real vehicle data) to teams of invited hackers at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on Saturday, August 17, 2013.

We were blown away by the hackers' imaginative uses of OpenXC in their 8-hour projects. We saw a watercolor robot, a music composition system, an animated back window display, a cost-of-driving meter, and other projects that responded to OpenXC's car data. (You can see videos of Data Driven award winners here.)

In the video above, Ford Research Lab Leader TJ Giuli describes how the OpenXC real-time data platform is enabling people to develop their own user experiences. As he said in this interview, "By making OpenXC open source, developers, researchers and DIYers can have an unprecedented level of access to their vehicle and by contributing source or designs back to the OpenXC project, they become co-creators with us at Ford."

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

A cost-of-driving meter for your car

[Video Link] Imagine a taxi-meter style display that shows you the true cost of driving for every trip you take in your car. That's just what David Harris and Steven Kryskalla built at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17.

Using Ford's OpenXC data platform, Harris and Kryskalla assembled a proof-of-concept system that displays, in realtime, how much it costs to drive both short trips and long commutes. It could eventually incorporate fuel cost, wear-and-tear, servicing, depreciation, etc. They created the display as physical "taxi meter," a mobile phone app, and as a website.

Harris and Kryskalla were awarded the "Best Use of Data" award, and took home a gift basket from SpikenzieLabs and a pair of Audeze audiophile headphones.

See more videos of the other Data Driven award winners.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Back window car display

[Video Link] Al Linke and Ytai Ben-Tsvi took home the "Best Hardware" prize at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17. Their creation was a "smart brake light" prototype. Using Ford's OpenXC data platform, the device reads the car's gas pedal position and brake inputs and displays contextual animations on the monitor.

As seen in the video above, colored bars indicate how far the gas pedal has been pushed. A graphic of a foot pressing on a brake pedal plays when the brakes are on. In addition, a button press triggers a "Thanks" graphic, which can be used as a way to thank someone who allowed you to merge in a traffic lane.

Al and Ytai took home a gift basket from our friends at Adafruit Industries.

In the coming days, we'll post more videos of the other Data Driven award winners.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Prototype could help save kids and animals locked in a hot car

[Video Link] Stephanie Vacher, Lisa Ballard, Quentin Muhlert addressed the problem of children and pets suffering from heat stroke after accidentally being left inside hot cars. The trio created a proof-of-concept warning system called TempAssure at at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17.

TempAssure uses a GPS API to detect the external temperature. If the temperature exceeds a set limit, TempAssure turns on a small fan (which represents the car's air conditioning system). The team says additional work on the concept could include tapping into Ford's OpenXC data platform to collect GPS data (to then pull the external temperature and conditions data from the local area), ignition data (on/off), and parking brake data (on/off), to create an environment inside of the car that would prevent the occupants from suffering heatstroke (such as turning on the air conditioning, lowering the windows, or sending a text message to the driver's phone).

"Ideally, we would be able to use far more of the car's existing sensors to alert us of the presence of occupants in the car, including seat sensors, internal/external temperature sensors, CO2 sensors, motion sensors, and the built-in microphone," the team wrote in its report of their hack.

TempAssure won the "Best Design" award and took home a gift basket from out friends at Spikenzielabs.

Watch videos of the other Data Driven award winners.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Car composes Kraftwerkian music

[Video Link] Tom Zimmerman is one of my favorite hacker/inventors. With over 40 patents awarded, Tom's the creator of the legendary virtual reality navigation device, the Data Glove, and has written a number of fun DIY projects for MAKE magazine. We invited Tom to participate in the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17, 2013, and his creation, called Project: Autobahn, was awarded our coveted "Weirdest Hack" prize. He took home a gift basket from our friends at SpikenzieLabs, and a pair of Audeze audiophile headphones.

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Car tells robot artist what to paint

[Video Link] A robot that paints water colors is super. A car that generates dozens of data streams is awesome. When you connect the two, as Joe Grand, Ben Krasnow, "Super-Awesome" Sylvia, and TechNinja did at our Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day held on August 17, 2013, the result is super awesome. It's no surprise that this 3-man, 1-girl team took home our Grand Prize "Best Use of Ford OpenXC" award. The prize: a brand new Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer, courtesy of our friends at MakerBot.

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