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August 17, 2010 9:46 AM   Subscribe

John Billes—whose extracurricular exploits as an undergraduate at UT Austin brought us iPhone-controlled dance floor lights, R/C cars, and yes, even full-size automobiles—has created the KegMatea keg-mounted, Arduino-controlled data-logging suite with an iPad-based user interface—in his spare time, while working at Yelp.
posted by defenestration (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It hardly seems something worthy of dedicating an iPad to. Maybe some kind of transmitter that sent usage and temperature data via WiFi to your iDevice that could be shared with others, but that adds quite a bit more additional complexity.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2010

Someday the world will be filled with cheap ipad-like devices. My own personal dream is one mounted on the fridge that gives temp stats, but also has a list of what is contained within and informs you when perishables are about to go bad. Once you use something up, it would generate a shopping list and send it to your phone. I'm tired of finding month-old cabbage in the back of the fridge...
posted by melissam at 10:35 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

St. Bernardus!
posted by PugAchev at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2010

Hooray for the Ipad! It makes every old programming chestnut new again!

Lawn, get off, &tc.
posted by benzenedream at 10:49 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Melissan, it already exists.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 11:21 AM on August 17, 2010

A friend of mine built a robot that monitored the levels of cheese and petrol, but it didn't work out so well.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:41 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

[Bunch of comments removed. Please do not make threads into arguments about who does or does not read which other sites on the internet.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:23 PM on August 17, 2010

It's pretty awesome, although I think using an iPad for the user interface is wasteful and overkill. It makes it fairly impractical for most people to implement themselves, which is kind of a bummer. An old laptop plus a disassembled keyboard would have done the job and been much easier to replicate; requiring the dedicated (at least while it's in operation) use of and risk to a $500+ device seems like a poor engineering choice.

Though I do love the Arduino, I suspect there are inexpensive x86 SoCs, or even routers with upgradable software, that could provide the same thing as a web service (as Burhnistan suggests), and even double as a hotspot, for far less than an iPad.

The real trick would be eliminating the need for RFID cards to "swipe" in. Nothing particularly elegant comes to mind. I guess you could put some sort of barcode reader or camera on the keg, and then write a web app that generates a barcode that you display on your mobile device and show to the sensor (like the electronic-ticketing systems used by some airlines now). It wouldn't be as user-transparent as RFID, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:01 PM on August 17, 2010

I saw this on Make earlier today and spent probably a full minute trying to figure out what the UI was supposed to be showing me. Never did get it, although I did eventually puzzle out that it was somehow beer-related.
posted by DU at 3:58 PM on August 17, 2010

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