Giphy reactions via SMS on an old CRT

Audience participation during a conference is tricky. You want it to be relevant so it’ll have to be some kind of tech that responds quickly. And at the same time it should be moderated, since the audience can write offensive stuff. Tricky stuff.

For our track at Internetdagarna I’ve built a little something that hopefully does this, and also shows what Creative Technology can be about.

 

  1. Get an old CRT TV. Because it looks cool.
  2. Connect a micro computer (like the C.H.I.P) via an old VCR (you need the VCR to do RF modulation from the micro controller composite output)
  3. Register a phone number on Twilio and forward incoming text messages to a database
  4. Write a few lines of crappy jQuery to poll this database and fetch a Giphy gif based on the text
  5. Run this crappy jQuery in a web browser on the micro controller

This way the audience can text reactions to the TV, and it’ll feel like a nice clash of new and old at the same time.

Post mortem. All this crappy tech + my crappy code made this setup crash every 15 minutes. Still great.

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