'Hardware Hackers' Get Handy

Programmers leave screens for soldering irons
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 19, 2009 2:37 PM CDT
"Physical computing" is a way for programmers to get away from their screens.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Seeking an escape from the confined world of their computer screens, programmers are applying their technological know-how to the physical world, building and tweaking an array of devices with their hands, the Boston Globe reports. “My normal job is way up in the clouds,” said a programmer at a soldering workshop. “This is so much more down to earth.”

“It’s a way to get off the screen,” agreed the workshop leader. “You can do much more with this stuff”—wires, batteries, clips—“than you can with a keyboard and mouse.” The workshop is one of many; meanwhile, groups devoted to “hardware hacking” and “physical computing” are springing up. Sample projects include an invention that broadcasts your heartbeat to a friend, and an artsy patch of growling grass.