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Tweet with Morse code light signals

Dot dash dash. Dot dash dot. Copenhagen students rig up a system that lets two neighborhoods talk via tweets turned into coded light signals.

Twitter to shore, do you read me?
Kostantinos Frantzis, Ana Catharina Marques, Markus Schmeiduch

How do you tweet in Morse code? Using Arduino and antique signal lamps, it turns out.

Thanks to students from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, you can now see what "I just washed my face and brushed my teeth. #Monday" looks like when expressed via old maritime communications technology.

Old signal lamps get a modern iPad and Arduino makeover. (Click to enlarge.) Kostantinos Frantzis, Ana Catharina Marques, Markus Schmeiduch

The students' #CPHsignals "Morse code light signal installation" transmits signals between two Copenhagen, Denmark, neighborhoods, Nyhavn and Chavn. Visitors can tweet messages using iPads attached to antique signal lamps on either side of the harbor or from anywhere using a @reply to @signals_nyhavn and @signals_CHavn.

An Arduino interface translates the tweets into Morse code and broadcasts them across the water (in what happens to be a very pretty light show at night, it's worth noting). So far, conversations between the two sides of the harbor have proven pretty tame, with lots of friendly greetings exchanged and no "man overboard" crises reported yet.

The goal of the #CPHsignals project is "to connect the two sides of the harbor that are geographically close but still feel disconnected. Furthermore, it showcases how communication between remote locations was achieved in the past, in the context of Copenhagen's maritime culture," Kostantinos Frantzis, one of the creators, says on his Web site.

Frantzis collaborated on the project with Ana Catharina Marques and Markus Schmeiduch, fellow students from his systems and layers class. Maritime Antiques provided the signal lamps.

This isn't the first time we've seen Arduino used to turn merge Twitter and Morse code. Martin Kaltenbrunner's Tworse Key "Twitter Telegraph," you may recall, decodes tweets sent via Morse code on an actual signal key and transmits them using the Twitter API.

But there's no denying the sheen of the signal-lamps-across-the-water aspect to this project. Watch a video of the #CHPsignal in action here and then go send some dashes and dots to Denmark.

Kostantinos Frantzis, Ana Catharina Marques, Markus Schmeiduch

(Via Designboom)