And now, for something completely dorky. I have begun to play with DIY electronics. This is principally because it's tremendous fun. You should try it. Seriously. The possibilities are endless. Here is a video of a range test for my prototype homing device built with an Arduino microcontroller module and an XBee radio transceiver. The portable, handheld device cost me about $60 to make, but theoretically could be a lot less if you designed a PCB and didn't rely on prototyping components.
Short-term, I hope to join fellow Boston Dorkbot members to build on this prototype and construct a location-based game. Stay tuned... My longer-term goal is to develop a standardized radio/microntroller platform on which to load and share user-oriented software applications (like the homing software shown here) for proximity-based device communications. The range for the "homing device" seems to well exceed the 300' that the XBee specs claim. Cool. Please send me suggestions for improvements, other ideas, etc.
"The Break Up" video has been around for about a year, but it's so relevant to what we've been working on with Project VRM, I couldn't resist posting it. Produced by Microsoft (of all people) along with ad agency openhere.be, the short video is a brilliant slam on how the traditional approach to customer outreach is woefully out of touch. It basically runs like an ad for The Cluetrain Manifesto.
The video is by Geert Desager and originally posted at bringtheloveback.com.