Category

Fun

Read/Write data from/to USB thumb drive on a Windows IoT Core device

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

Currently, universal apps are sandboxed to the point of blocking you from reading/writing data files to a removable USB drive on Windows IoT Core devices. This post will show you a work around if you really need to do this. Now, understand that this is not for store apps. If you submit an app using this work around, it will likely get rejected. However, for internal projects, it will definitely work, and work well. This is a great way of reading application initialization data and writing log data in a test apparatus and laboratory setting. Particularly when a network or…

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Heart Rate Display with a Photon and a Microsoft Band

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft Band, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows Phone | 4 Comments

Those who know me, know I love sensors, and doing things with sensors. I’ve published many posts on accessing the various sensors on the Microsoft Band: Accelerometer & Gyroscope, Ultraviolet, Skin Temperature, and Galvanic Skin Response. One subject that I haven’t gotten to is the heart rate sensor. I’ve also started to publish a few IoT posts. For this post, I thought it would be fun to integrate the Band’s heart rate sensor with a Particle Photon so you can visualize your heart rate with an RGB LED. The LED pulses at the same rate as your heart and will shift…

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Wiring Diagram

IR Break Beam Hot Wheels Car Speed Track

By | C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows | No Comments

Today I bring you a fun little project. The goal of the project is to measure the speed of toy cars as they run the length of a track. Kids and adults can compete to see who has the fastest car. What you’ll need: Hot Wheels Cars A track – I used baseboard molding from a home improvement store Two 5 mm IR break beam sensors Your existing Windows IoT Core setup Wiring Diagram Wiring Details (x2) IR Break beam transceiver black wire to GND (x2) IR Break beam transceiver red wire to 5V (x2) IR Break beam receiver black…

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PIR Sensor with a Photon, Particle Cloud, and a UWA

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

My latest sensor experiment involved the PIR Motion Sensor (HC-SR501) that comes with the Photon Maker Kit. The motion sensor didn’t have the best English documentation; however, there were enough translations and fragments out on the Internet to get the job done. I decided to interface the motion sensor with a Photon, and then feed the sensor output to a UWA through the Particle Cloud by using a Particle Event Stream. The sensor has two potentiometers on its PCB. One controls the sensitivity of the sensor and the other controls the output latch delay. Turning the sensitivity down essentially limits the…

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Touchscreen Panel Application

Windows IoT Core : A Philips Hue Touchscreen Panel Application

By | C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 9 Comments

Philips Hue is a fabulous lighting system. It is a hub based system that discovers when new bulbs are added, allowing you to grow the collection of smart bulbs in your home organically. Hue also has apps available on some mobile platforms that make customizing and controlling your lights an easy and visual task. These are all fine and dandy, as long as you have a mobile device with you at all times. Hardware switches are available to circumvent that need, but they have limited functionality and in all honesty, they aren’t all that flashy or futuristic looking. I thought…

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Controlling an RGB LED on a Photon with a UWA Color Picker

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

The Particle Photon makes it easy to control the color of an RGB LED. There are a number of color picker controls you can use in Windows apps. I wanted to see how easy it was to hook a Photon RGB LED up to a Windows app color picker. It ended up being a snap by using the Particle cloud functions. In this project I wrote a simple UWA that calls a Particle cloud function called “setRGB” on my targeted Photon whenever I change the selected value on the color picker. Then I implemented an event handler on that Photon’s…

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Exploring Multi-Photon and Particle Cloud Functionality with a Useless Machine

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Web, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 2 Comments

There are many ways for Particle Photons to interact with each other. Even more ways for other devices and apps to interact with Photons through the Particle Cloud. To explore these capabilities, I created a useless machine. My useless machine is made up of two Photons. Photon 1 “falafel_1” has a photo resistor and a green LED. Photon 2 “falafel_2” also has a photo resistor and a green LED. However, Photon 2 also has a servo motor and a second red LED. The servo motor is mounted so that when it is rotated to 90 degrees, it covers both photo…

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Circuit Diagram for Sound Sensing with the Raspberry Pi

Windows IoT Core : Sensing Sound Levels

By | Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, News, Raspberry Pi, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

The ability to sense the amount of sound in an environment can come in handy. From the hobbyist standpoint, you can create light elements with LED strips that light up based on the amount of sound, similar to an equalizer, to add to the ambiance of the playing music. From a commercial perspective, you can create alerts once sound levels exceed a certain threshold at a workplace (or classroom). You can also create helpful visual indicators for sound that can help those that are hard of hearing, such as a lighting-based baby monitor that will light up when a baby…

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Particle Photon Oscilloscope

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows | 2 Comments

I previously turned my Windows IoT Core-based Raspberry Pi 2 into an oscilloscope, but I didn’t stop there. The next gadget in my target is the Particle Photon. This is an amazing little device. However ,unlike the Raspberry Pi 2, it doesn’t have an HDMI output (it’s only about the size of an HDMI connector). I wasn’t sure how best to display the signal data. I took inspiration from a post from Hackster.io – Sending sound over the Internet. They used the TCP capabilities of the Photon to stream audio data to a client. That’s all I needed to bring…

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Windows IoT Core Remote Wifi Scanner

By | .NET, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

Windows IoT Core has a nice web-based device management interface. This app can configure many aspects of the device, such as connecting the device to a WiFi network. Because the web-based device management was just a web app, I thought it shouldn’t be difficult to write a remote app to do the same. I ended up with a remote app that could query WiFi networks visible to a Windows IoT Core device and connect or disconnect that device to those networks. To get started, I connected my browser to the web-based device management app for one of my Windows IoT Core…

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Windows IoT Core Oscilloscope

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Telerik, Tools, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | 2 Comments

In my continuing quest to see what the Windows IoT Core is capable of and my desire to push my gadgets to their limits, I came up with an interesting oscilloscope project using a Windows IoT Core-based Raspberry Pi 2 and a simple ADC. Now, I’m not claiming that you can just quickly build an oscilloscope using a Raspberry Pi 2 and an ADC and never need to spend the money on an oscilloscope ever again. The one shown in this project is limited in its temporal resolution to the millisecond range. For an oscilloscope, that’s slow, but it may…

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Falafel Celebrates At Disneyland

By | Fun, News | One Comment

It is customary at Falafel every year that we stop our busy commitments and enjoy our colleagues and their families by taking some time off and vacation altogether somewhere fun and exciting. This year is no different, we are all heading on July 22nd to Disneyland to enjoy each other and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee – 60 years- of that magical place. Last year, was the Disney Bahamas Cruise from Florida which was fantastic and memorable!  We have been to many exotic places over the years, 4 times to Hawaii, Bora Bora, Mexico, Las Vegas and others. Here at Falafel,…

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Running a touch-based Universal Application on a Pi 2 with Windows IoT Core Insider Preview

By | Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

Building on my last blog post, I decided to put together a quick Windows Universal Application that I could run on my Pi 2 with my touchscreen. I wanted to determine how good the touch experience would be using the Rasberry Pi 2 and the Windows IoT Core Insider Preview OS. I was pleasantly surprised that once I deployed my application, the touch capabilities were very accurate and responsive. Creating the Application This blog post assumes that you’ve been through the setup of your Raspberry Pi 2 and your Windows PC as described on www.windowsondevices.com. The application I created is…

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Microsoft Band Galvanic Skin Response Sensor

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Microsoft, Mobile, News | One Comment

Before I get to the sensor, Microsoft updated the Band SDK today. From what I can tell, this update did not significantly change any of the sensors I’ve covered on the API level. Once I’ve had a better look at it I’ll post any changes I do find. The next Microsoft Band sensor in my target is the Galvanic Skin Response sensor, or more simply the Contact sensor. This sensor is designed to give you an indication of if the Band is actually being worn or not. This sensor sends a small electric charge from the metal frame around the…

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Microsoft Band Ultraviolet Sensor

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile, News | 3 Comments

One of the more interesting sensors on the Microsoft Band is the UV sensor, mainly because it’s one sensor type that I’ve not played with before. When I examined the UV sensor via the UV tile, it was apparent that it took some time to collect data and then display the results. It appeared that it was a one-time shot with some unknown delay before giving you another UV reading. I really didn’t find much info on the details of this sensor online. So what exactly is UV? It is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 400nm to 10nm, just…

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Microsoft Band Sensors – Accelerometer & Gyroscope

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Windows | 11 Comments

Microsoft just released the Microsoft Band SDK Preview and I’m excited. Just like with any other electronic gadget, I’m interested in the sensors. The Band is stuffed full of sensors, but the first ones I want to look at are the accelerometers and gyroscopes. From the preview site you can download samples for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. You also need the documentation. To get started with my sensors investigation, I downloaded the Windows Phone sample code and followed the instructions here to get started with my own project. Accessing the accelerometers and gyroscopes is easy and follows a familiar…

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Accessing the Unity Gyroscope

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Unity | No Comments

In my continuing desire to explore the capability of Unity accessing the device sensors, I’m exploring the gyroscope. The gyroscope is an instrument that is used to measure the change in rotation along its axis. The first versions of this instrument started off as large and heavy mechanical tops, then progressed to very small MEMS that can now fit into our phones. To demonstrate the gyroscope I’ll use the same code base that I’ve been using in my previous Unity posts; Unity Accelerometer Device Attitude Alignment and Displaying the Device Compass in Unity. So you’ll see the device orientation cubes…

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azure logo

Falafel Software Team Continues to Earn Industry Recognition

By | careers, Fun, Microsoft, News | One Comment

Falafel’s experienced team of developers continues to achieve new certifications from Microsoft. Master Consultant Adam Anderson completed certifications in Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions and Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions. Falafel is well known for its work in implementing Azure Services for clients and using it in internal applications, most notably, EventBoard Mobile. EventBoard uses Azure to handle event and agenda management for large conferences including Microsoft’s TechEd. For more on the awards and the certifications, view the full release!

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Displaying the Device Compass in Unity

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Unity, Windows | 5 Comments

In my last Unity post we looked at integrating the accelerometers in a Unity app. In this post we look at integrating the magnetometer. A couple of years ago I published a magnetometer application in the Windows Phone Store. That app shows the magnetometer readings in 3D in relation to the orientation of the phone. The magnetometer sensor is how your device senses true north for the compass. For some devices (like my Nokia 1520), the Unity magnetometer API hides the 3D vector and only gives you access to the 2D vector “compass” data. I’ll live with that for now. In…

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Unity Accelerometer Device Attitude Alignment

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Microsoft, Multi-Device, Unity | 3 Comments

In my last post I explored how easy it was to display the device camera onto a Unity 3D surface. This time I’m exploring how easy it is to access the device accelerometer sensors and use the data to align 3D objects in Unity to correct for the attitude of the device to give that floating compass look. Although for this post, I’m only interested in the accelerometers. The magnetometers will come later. I started with my camera project from the last post and added a series of cubes into a parent GameObject to plainly show the orientation and a…

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Main camera

Showing the device camera in Unity

By | .NET, C#, Fun, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device | 4 Comments

Back in March I helped my Nokia buddies out with the DVLUP Days 2014 North American Tour in Dallas. During one of the sessions, I got introduced to Unity. From my numerous posts about XNA and most recently about Open GL, you can’t be surprised I went to that session. From my previous XNA work you can see that I’m deeply interested in the AR aspect of mobile devices. To do that, however, you need access to the device hardware. With Unity being a cross-platform framework, I was not hopeful that this would end up being an easy task. My…

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Open GL Hello Triangle with Xamarin

By | .NET, Android, Blogs, C#, Fun, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Xamarin | No Comments

In my last post I shared that I was beginning a new task of learning to develop with Xamarin. What would I tackle for my first projects? It’s not enough for me to do a simple hello world app. I’ve got to go with what I’m interested in. Back in 2012, I did my first post on this blog about XNA 3D graphics. In that post I shared the fact that I first started my 3D graphics exploration starting back in the mid 90’s with OpenGL. So, I’m going to explore the world of 3D graphics in Xamarin centered on…

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Falafel Blog

Microsoft OCR Library

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News | 2 Comments

Microsoft recently announced that their OCR Library for Windows Runtime has been released as a NuGet package. This library enables you to add text reading capabilities to your Windows Phone 8/8.1 and Windows 8.1 Store apps. I wanted to get a simple working example up and running and found it to be quite easy and functional. I created a basic Windows 8.1 Store app. The XAML for the main page is listed below.

The code behind has only one event handler for the button click and because this is just a simple working example contains all of the code necessary…

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