Hobby Projects

I like to keep myself entertained with different technology related projects in my spare time.

I always try to get my hands on some cool new tech stuff that I can explore. My interests have been in the fields of design, art + tech, music + tech, social + tech, crowd-sourcing, Do-It-Yourself computer board projects, and crowd-funding aligned consumer products.

3D Hologram magic box

After a huge success of the life size scale of the 3D projection system below, I decided to test it in a miniaturized box at Dam Square, the main

touristic place in Amsterdam. I wanted to see if people would like to pay to view the 3D hologram kind of display by looking into a small sized box like a magicians show. I had great insights into how people of different cultures perceive new experiments like this in a touristic setting and whether they are willing to pay for it.

3D Hologram optical illusion

Inspired from small Internet prototypes, we decided to test the feasibility of it at a life size scale level. We created our own video recording studio to record people live using 4 cameras to capture 4 different sides of human body and live streamed it using ffmpeg software on the projection surface. Arranging the entire set-up and studio was a challenging task due to minimal cost requirement.

The project was exhibited at Open Day Science Park Amsterdam 2015, and was the most attended and celebrated project.

Find some videos and photographs of the demo and setup here.

Respberry-Pi powered media center

Raspberry-Pi is a credit card sized computer aimed at improving accessibility of Do-It-Yourself hobby projects for school children and hobbyist. It has sufficient power to do dedicated tasks such as media center, and other such fun projects. I am using Raspberry-Pi as a dedicated YouTube player using remote server log-in and using bluetooth streaming to external speakers. I am also exploring possibility of using Raspberry-Pi as a offload co-processor for simple jobs from mobile devices, using bluetooth transfer.

Some really interesting projects could be seen here.


Arduino-uno based sensor prototypes

Arduino-uno is a small form factor micro-controller board that could be used to control multiple types of sensor devices connected to it using its GPIO output pin configuration. It comes with a software editor to write programs which are then cross-compiled and put onto the on-board device memory for execution. By using various types of combination of input and output sensors different prototype sensor based projects could be easily built. I play with some of these kind of sensor based small fun projects to kill my boredom.

Some really interesting projects could be seen here.


Leap-motion device to control desktop navigation

Leap motion controller is a small USB device that tracks your hand gestures using 3 infra-red cameras. It calculates the hand position and maps the gestures to a suitable pre-defined action that could be used to control the input to a software program such as desktop navigation. It is used along with Virtual Reality sets to control the movements in the 3D space. I am playing with some off-the-shelf programs to understand how good it is and how it could be used for doing more related things. One application I have tried is the desktop navigation in Linux using swiping and other hand actions to navigate in the Linux desktop.

Some really interesting projects could be seen here.


Flash word-game to simulate crowd-sourced task

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a digital crowd-sourced marketplace for availing digital task based workers. A worker accepts a Human Intelligent Task (HIT), and finishes it in the given time to earn money as reward. We wanted to understand the question, whether the monetary incentive for the available work is good enough to attract more workers? We designed a flash based word game where the worker has to finish up typing the words which are moving alphabet-wise towards the bottom from the top of the screen. Depending on the typing speed the worker can earn maximum 100 Rs/ hr at a pre-defined rate of words falling from sky. We investigated the willingness of workers in different type of localities in Pune, India by installing the game in Internet cafes and letting people play it.

Interactive communication through Skype with Japanese students

Kyoto University's Japanese students have requirement to speak with English speakers on topics such as culture, travel, food, etc. that helps in exchange of ideas and to improve their English communication skills. I was part of an international volunteer team that was selected through a crowd-sourcing experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk, to speak with 150 students for 4 weeks, with 15 minutes Skype session each. The project required active management of students interest to make them choose you as their communicator from the entire team, managing the conversations, maintaining logs through Moodle content management systems, and various aspects of student teacher interaction management.

Amazon Mechanical Turk worker

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a digital crowd-sourced marketplace for availing digital task based workers. A worker accepts a Human Intelligent Task (HIT), and finishes it in the given time to earn money as reward. I experimented with various small scale tasks to understand the process of crowd-sourced work and it's efficiency and fun part to earn extra income as a freelancer. I was quick to realize its potential for students / house-wives / or work from home people to earn extra income doing simple but mundane tasks.