Emoji 8-Ball Prop

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Jul 202015
 

I F*CKING love 8-Balls! They’re awesome little desktop oracles that make decisions easier. However, I thought their selection of phrases left a little to be desired, so I wanted to do a project to augment this timeless toy with a digital screen. But what could I get it to display? While putting together the project, the webcomic XKCD posted a comic with an emoji-8-Ball that generated random emoji combination in browser.

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Using a little bit of Canvas and the source from the original webcomic, I made my own emoji 8-ball fortune generator formatted for a tiny OLED screen fit inside an 8 ball. The screen has it’s own micro-controller and GPIO pins, which made it pretty simple to attach a tilt sensor (salvaged from an old Furby toy), as well as a battery pack that all fits inside a hemisphere of the original toy.

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When the ball is face-down, it randomly cycles though emoji pairs, and stops when it’s tilted up.¬† I sliced open the original blue liquid container in the ball, and replaced the plastic window to make it look unmodified. The mysterious fortunes it provides are open to interpretation.

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The Emoji 8-Ball prop was build by Widget¬† and debuted at NYCResistor’s 2015 Interactive show.

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