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Peripheral Vision 007: Tyler DeAngelo - 'wasting time is an important piece of innovation'

"There's something we miss when everything becomes virtual and goes online," says Tyler DeAngelo. "Tactile-ness gives it something that is more interesting and a deeper connection and makes it more meaningful." The ad executive invited us to Havas Worldwide's Chicago offices to show off his latest creation, and with Fifth Avenue Frogger, the Check 'N Chew Foursquare gumball machine and the Buzzed Buzzer under his belt, we took him up on the offer. His latest creation was born of the same desire to bridge the physical and the virtual. Created for a beer client, the bottle opener has Arduino Nano-based circuitry built-in, which connects with an Android handset via Bluetooth, sending texts to friends when you crack open a bottle.

"I'm definitely not the first person to say this, but creativity comes from finding meaningful relationships between things that already exist," explains DeAngelo. "Nothing I'm doing is going to change the world. A lot of the stuff I do is wasting people's time, but I still think that making someone think differently or making someone laugh or have fun -- wasting time is an important piece of innovation." It's also, naturally, an important part of engaging a public increasingly immune to sales pitches. Getting people's attention in an ad-saturated world requires a lot more than clever jingles. "i think the most innovative things in the media field should be happening inside ad agencies right now," DeAngelo adds. "If they're not, those who aren't innovating are going to be dead."

Filed under: Peripherals


Check 'N Chew Foursquare-enabled gumball machine hands-on (video)

When Tyler DeAngelo asked if we'd be interested in checking out his new project, we jumped at the opportunity. After all, we were pretty blown away with Fifth Avenue Frogger, his hacked arcade cabinet that incorporated real-time webcam footage of a busy Manhattan street into gameplay. His latest project, Check 'N Chew certainly has more apparent commercial applications, offering up a form of immediate gratification for social media users. The concept is fairly simple: check into Foursquare, get a gumball.

DeAngelo has hacked an off-the-shelf gumball machine with a stepper motor, Arduino and an XBee radio. There's also a port on the rear of the machine that plugs into a wall to power it all. The Check 'N Chew communicates wirelessly with an ethernet-to-wireless gateway device. When someone checks into an authorized location, information is sent from DeAngelo's server to the gateway, and a gumball is dispensed. The whole process is quite speedy, only taking a couple of seconds from Foursquare check-in to gumball dispensing.

Continue reading Check 'N Chew Foursquare-enabled gumball machine hands-on (video)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

Check 'N Chew Foursquare-enabled gumball machine hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 16 Aug 2012 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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