Tweet Bubble Series Technical Documentation

An archived version of the technical documentation of Aram Bartholl's "Tweet Bubble Series", as taken from the V2_ development wiki.

Pocket Tweets

A cell phone display enabled Twitter shirt for everyday use. For all information on this project please see the project page

How to run Pocket Tweets on your mobile phone:

  1. Download the JAVA application Pocket Tweets (download PocketTweets.jar) via PC or directly on your phone. It'll work with most models that support JAVA games and application (the application is made using Mobile Processing which creates MIDlets that are currently compatible with the CLDC 1.0, MIDP 1.0 release of the J2ME platform).
  2. Upload/install Pocket Tweets to your phone and start it up from your application folder
  3. Press 'Twittit', enter your Twitter screen name and confirm with 'ok'.
  4. The application will receive and display your latest Twitter message.
  5. To renew the tweet press 're-twitt'.
  6. Design a custom pocket for your phone on a shirt or other piece of clothing.
  7. Match a speech bubble cut out with the diplay of your phone. pictures


Loud Tweets

Loud tweets consists of a hacked led name badge which is connected via an Arduino board to the web and displays the latest Twitter message of the user. The mass produced led badge has a standard three button input. To program the led badge the Arduino simulates button press inputs on all three buttons. For possible future development a GSM GPRS module for arduino could enhance Loud Tweets to a standalone device. For all information on this project please see the project page

Running the application
  • install python2.6
  • install pyserial2.4
  • install simplejson
  • Get the python application from svn
  • run the application: 'python treader.py --device='Arduino port' twittername1 twittername2 ...'

Classic Tweets

Classic Tweets introduces a new display technology using a T-shirt and hoodie impregnated with thermochromatic ink. The ink used is a leuco dye type ink which turns transparent when warmed up. A Memory Craft 200E emroidery machine was used to sew vector based speech bubbles and handwritten words using conductive thread in the cloth. Each speech bubble can be 'lighted' up seperately. by sending a current of ~200mA is through the conductive thread to warm it up a little. This little change in temperature is enough to trigger the colour changing effect of the leuco dye. The control and steering is done using a custom designed board using an LED driver for heating control. For all information on this project please see the project page


Paper Tweets

This version consists of a RFID reader that sends the tag information over a wireless connection (433MHz) to the host computer. The host computer retrieves the corresponding tweet and prints this tweet on a Dymo labelwriter. The host itself is equipped with an RFID reader/writer in order to register/program the visitors tags. For all information on this project please see the project page

The RFID set from left to right: Desktop reader/writer, RFID receiver, RFID transmitter

Wireless RFID reader

This is a custom made RFID reader based on a SonMicro 125 KHz RFID - SM125-M1-232 Module. These modules can work autonomously and don't need an extra controller. As transponder we use Atmel/Temic T55xx transponders which are programmable. During the registration the registrar's twitter name and id are written to the card. This eliminates the use of a centralized database if a multi-printer setup is used.

The wireless connection is based on a 433MHz radio link easy-Radio 433-4MHz. During development a class 1 bluetooth SPP was also considered (Bluetooth® Modem - BlueSMiRF RP-SMA) but tests showed better range results with the 433MHz radio link.

Wireless RFID transmitter module based on 433MHz radio link

Wireless RFID receiver module based on 433MHz radio link

The host reader/writer

The reader/writer attached to the host computer will be based on the same SonMicro 125 KHz RFID - SM125-M1-232 Module, the USB connection is done with an adapted Vivanco USB to Serial converter based on a PL2303.

USB RFID Reader/Writer

Host application

The host application is a Python program using win32com to communicate with the Dymo labelwriter using the Dyno COM API.

  • Custom made Wireless RFID reader
  • Custom made Wireless RFID receiver
  • Custom made RFID reader/programmer
  • Dymo LableWriter 320
Running the application (win32 only because of the DYMO SDK dependency)
  • install python2.6
  • install all 3dparty modules (these also include the dymo sdk and prolific USB to RS232 drivers)
  • in bubble.py, line 26, change the serial ports where the application has to look for the RFID devices
  • in bubble.py, line 28, change 'tweetLabel' to the location of the 'tweetLabel.LWL'
  • run the application with 'python bubble.py'

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