Tech

Shake the Magic GIF Ball and let randomly-generated memes be your guide

Is this cool? Signs say yes.

Everyone knows the classic Magic-8 Ball.

You ask yourself a question, say, Should I go to college? Shake the ball and the die inside etched with text returns the answer: No, you shouldn’t go to college. You live by the 8-Ball even though it’s totally random. Your parents think you’re a failure for the rest of your life, not least because you listened to a toy. Or something like that.

But as great as the 8-Ball is, what if it were modernized for the 21st century?

Shutterstock

YouTuber DJ Harrigan wondered exactly that, and took up the challenge of designing a new, better 8-Ball. Instead of using a die covered with answers, he thought that life’s most important decisions could best be guided through animated GIFs. Thus, the Magic GIF Ball was born.

YouTube/element14 presents

GIFs are much more expressive than the classic 8-Ball’s text answers.

GIPHY

In a video, Harrigan documents his journey designing the Magic GIF Ball. Instead of cracking open a real 8-Ball and sticking his modifications inside — which would have been difficult to accomplish — Harrigan created the GIF Ball by 3D-printing a new enclosure from scratch.

This way he was able to design a support structure that prevents the electronics inside from breaking when you actually shake the ball.

YouTube/element14 presents

Speaking of the electronics, the Magic GIF Ball is powered by a Raspberry Pi 3A+, an Anker 1800 mAh battery, and a 1.3-inch 240x240 LCD display.

A gyroscopic sensor detects when the ball is shaken, and a Python script on the Raspberry Pi is programmed to display a random stored GIF when the shaking stops.

Unlike the traditional 8-Ball, the Magic GIF Ball can return near infinite responses.

YouTube/element14 presents

Should you watch the full video?