Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thermaroid: Android + a Thermal Printer = Super Cheap, Super Low Quality Photos on the Fly

Thermaroid lives! Today I finished smooshing together my Camera API progress with my past success printing to a Bluetooth Thermal Printer. The result is a drop dead simple app. The app starts up with absolutely no UI, it's just a live camera preview. Short press on the screen and the camera focuses. Long press the image is captured and sent to the Bluetooth printer. Here's an action shot:

(Yes, that's a screenshot of me using Thermaroid to take a picture of a picture that I just printed out with Thermaroid. Got that?)

The app needs quite a bit of polishing before it's ready for prime time, including: some indication that your photo is being printed and proper code for backgrouding the printing process. But functionality wise, it works.

I think I'm finally getting the hang of using Kawa Scheme to build apps. Apparently I needed to let go of this notion that I could somehow write Java code using Scheme's terse conventions. Kawa lets you do this a bit, but at the end of the day, things seem to work better (or compile with fewer complaints) when you annotate your code with types. I'm definitely interested in seeing if I can do some refactoring to eek out a bit more elegance than purely translating Java to Scheme. We'll see.

Check out the code here. And happy photo'ing!

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