Enough Already: The Arduino celebrity news assassin

My Arduino is more powerful than your Situation.

Our friends over at Make magazine put together some awesome projects, and this is one of our favorites.  Last year, hacker extraordinaire Matt Richardson released this Arduino project that will monitor your TV closed caption signal for a list of keywords and mute the television when it finds a match.  From his description on Make’s site:

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick of hearing about the same people on TV over and over again. I came up with this Arduino-based solution to mute my TV so that I don’t have to hear about Donald Trump’s feud with whomever or Charlie Sheen’s most recent rant.

The project uses the Video Experimenter Shield to decode the close captions, and monitors the transcription for a set of predefined keywords. If it finds any of them, it sends an IR remote control signal to mute the TV, then unmutes it after 30 seconds. Matt looks for words such as “KARDASHIAN” or “SNOOKI” to decide when to mute, but the keywords and mute period can be defined in the Arduino sketch. The project source is posted on Google Code.

Automatically silencing celebrities is an amazing use-case. We feel like there’s huge potential for creativity with this device. Monitoring real-time media has a host of applications, from the convenient to the amusing or even profitable. You could monitor a news channel for mentions of your brand and automatically switch to that channel or start a DVR recording. Perhaps large companies have more resources to keep an eye on television content, but if you’re a small business or are doing research on a breaking topic, this could prove invaluable. You could even log occurrences of certain captions and perform semantic analysis, similar to what so many new companies are doing for Twitter or Facebook.

On the lighter side, what if someone set up a group of these to automatically tweet or send an email on certain keyword triggers? “Dear Representative Smith, I noticed you discussing SOPA on CNN today and I want to express my utmost support for your astounding ignorance of how the internet works”. Voila, civil action without lifting a finger!

Alternatively, what if you hooked this up to a script or web app that could feed the Arduino new parameters on the fly? You could build something even better than picture-in-picture, and switch between multiple programs only when most relevant. Two good football games on? Program the Arduino to look for phrases that signal replays or highlights, and switch when big plays occur. Or have it alert you when a certain topic is mentioned (weather, a local issue, etc.) so you don’t have to watch 30 minutes of cable news to get one minute of important content.

How would you use the Enough Already or adapt it to your own nefarious deeds? Drop us a line in the comments.

via the Make blog

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