With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers, and modding guru Ben Heck, spotlight love by building an oversized digital candy “tweet heart” with an LED display on the latest episode of “The Ben Heck Show.”
“As a self-proclaimed geeky bachelor, this episode was the perfect opportunity to tap into my romantic side and build a fun, waistline-friendly project designed to melt the hearts of women everywhere,” said Ben. “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a sweet tweet on Valentine’s Day.”
Inspired by traditional candy conversation hearts, Ben transforms an empty, heart-shaped candy box into a unique display of LED signals that stream special messages for a hypothetical sweetheart. After connecting a dot matrix LED to an Arduino Uno microcontroller, he implements a unique code designed by longtime friend and programmer, Chris Kraft, to transpose Twitter messages directly from a specific Internet-based Twitter feed onto the LED display of the heart.
“Collaboration and communication are not only fundamental values for the element14 community, but also key ingredients for a successful relationship,” said Kevin Yapp, chief marketing officer, Premier Farnell. “By using electronics components from element14 and collaborating with a programmer to enhance the project, Ben helps technology enthusiasts vividly display affection for their Valentines.”
Show fans are invited to join the element14 community for a chance to win Ben’s “tweet heart” featured on the show, as well as send Ben a challenge for a future build. Fans can also participate in element14’s “We Love Innovation” survey questions during the week of Feb. 6 on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to share their opinion on the latest trends and what they love about electronics.