What can you do with a pair of HTC 8X smartphones, a pan/tilt gimble, a WiFi connection and a block of wood? For HTC’s Garrett Rysko the answer was obvious – build an advanced baby monitor so his lab partner, Derek Frei, could easily pay attention to his newborns’ activity.
Why? According to Garrett, an engineer on HTC’s Regional Test Management team, the birth of Derek’s new baby was the inspiration. “We thought it would be awesome for Derek to be able to see what trouble the baby was getting into without having to get out of bed.”
Developed as a project for an embedded systems and programming course at the University of Washington, Garrett and Derek designed the new baby monitor to allow one 8X phone to stream video over WiFi to a second 8X phone, acting as a controller.
The mechanical pan/tilt gimble allows the user to tilt the controller phone and send commands over WiFi to modify the direction the remote camera is pointing. Or, switch to ‘Audio Detection Mode’ to power the remote camera using the on-board microphones. Audio Detection quickly turns the camera towards noises detected in the baby’s room.
Whether he’s designing lighting sequence and power controls for an Iron Man replica suit or building a power consumption monitor for mobile devices, Garrett can always be found surrounded by technology. For those looking at a career in Electrical Engineering, Garrett recalls the words of a university professor. He says the best entrepreneurs & inventors need to have three qualities to make it – be a dreamer, a realist and a critic.
“Dream big and reach for the crazy projects, actually do the work, write out the schematics, and build it, and be prepared to evaluate the success or failure every step along the way.”
You can follow Garrett and his “crazy projects through Twitter – @SimiansInSpace