Get your own open source touchscreen device for 69

first_imgIt’s really easy to go out and spend a few hundred dollars buying yourself a personal media player (PMP). But why not build your own instead, save some money, and have a completely open platform to experiment on?That’s the offer Microtouch 2.4 is offering right now. It can’t do everything an iPod touch can do, like play MP3s, but it does have apps. The spec is pretty basic, although it does allow for gaming, picture viewing, and e-reading as well as anything else you care to develop for it.The spec includes:Atmega32u4 – 32KB of flash, 2.5K of RAM with USB bootloader2.8″ 320×240 16-bit color, TFT display with resistive touch screenLithium polymer battery charging via USB3-axis accelerometer, MMA7544 +-2g to +-8g resolutionMicro SD card slotBattery monitoring, backlight control and on/off switchThe basic kit for $69 includes the development board with display and the some apps preloaded. To that you need to add a lithium polymer battery (an extra $12) and a microSD card for storage.The apps already available for use with the device include:Image viewer built into the hardware core, you can plug in a microSD card with images, slide shows or animations that show up as ‘mini Apps’Calibrate Touch-screenDoomed a 3D rendering mazeAccelerate keep the ball in the center of the screen by tiltingPaint fingerpainting but without the cleanupFlip a Reversi gameMines like Minesweeper but without the hassle of installing Windows3D Icosohedron controllable by tilting the boardPacman a sprite animation demoLattice 3D lattice demoThe Microtouch is described as a step up from Arduino and requires C programming and experience working with microcontrollers to have any chance of developing it further. Still, even just using the basic apps and whatever the community produces could be a fun device for someone.Read more at Adafruit Industries and the Microtouch Introduction pageMatthew’s OpinionIf you’ve got a budding tinkerer and Arduino pro in the family this might be a nice next stage for them to develop their skill set. At $69, or $81 if you include the rechargeable battery, it’s not a huge investment of money and could make a nice gift for the right person.It’s also the kind of cheap device that can be used for experimentation when coming up with a marketable new handheld touchscreen device. Prove your apps on this, then port it over to better hardware including the much preferred capacitive touchscreen.last_img read more