Review - Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 29, Edited By Mark Frauenfelder; O'Reilly Media / Make

Friday, 02 March 2012
  • By
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Tags:
  • Books
  • Projects
  • Review


If you aren't familiar with Make Magazine, you are in for a treat. That is if you like building things. If not, then move along, there's nothing to see here.

My Take On It

I have to admit I've been a fan of the concept of Make Magazine from the beginning. O'Reilly have been a big part of the open source movement for a long time, and the obvious extension of making open source software is making physical objects and sharing the "how to".

The focus of this issue is DIY Superhuman, and as such includes projects to augment your senses and capabilities. No really. Sounds like a comic book, but there are some plausible and slick projects in here.

Tacit: A Haptic Wrist Rangefinder
Tacit: A Haptic Wrist Rangefinder

The one I most want to try is “Tacit: A Haptic Wrist Rangefinder”. The basic premise here is that you combine sonic rangefinders, a glove, and little rubber-hand-slappers (I'll explain)  to allow you to feel how close objects are. Tiny servomotors spin faster when objects are closer and smack your hand with little rubber bits. Think “buzzing” not “flogging”.

I think this would be an excellent aid for someone who was vision impaired. This is clearly a hobbiest version, but it wouldn't take much to turn this into a prosthetic product.

If you have an ereader or tablet that can support PDF files, I recommend the eBook version. I have a KindleDX (larger screen, but still eInk), and it worked fine.

If you are into building things, I highly recommend you pick this one up.


I received a copy of the magazine as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. They require I actually write and post a review to continue receiving review copies, but they do not dictate what I write.