Varun Barad

This website is going under a redesign slowly


I have realized that there are a lot more ideas (for things to do or make) in my head than I can remember or hope to execute upon. So this is just a holding pen for now of all the ideas that I can someday build upon. I would be glad if you like something from this and decide to build it yourself. Do let me know if you do so, it would be fun to discuss these with someone else 🙂

Random Book Box

Recently I have seen a lot of online booksellers here offer something along the lines of a "Random Book Box" in which they would select x number of random books from their inventory and package it for you.

Those are the parts I like about the idea but what I don't like is that generally these are sellers of used books and their inventory consists mostly of titles that I've never heard before and that I won't actually care about reading.

My idea is basically to build something to which I can tell about what books I want to read and what books some of my friends suggest, then it can build me a box out of those which then a friend can order for me. Similarly, I can be one of the friends who makes such a random book box for one of my friends.

Google Contacts Birthday Calendar

Note: Eventually I made it and now it is live on the interwebs (the server is on a free tier so give it a few mins to load).

Google Contacts does have the birthdays of many people in your circles, but it doesn't expose those birthdays as a calendar feed which can be consumed from other calendar applications. So this will connect with Google Contacts and expose an iCal feed that you can subscribe to from any calendar application of your choice.

Browser plugin to redirect YT Shorts to Regular YT Player

The video player used for YT Shorts doesn't have most of the playback controls like seek, volume, mute etc. But those videos can be played in the regular YT player by just replacing the url path.

Shorts player URL scheme:<video-id>
Regular player URL scheme:<video-id>

Note (2023-03-23): This won't work anymore as now when YT detects the video-id to belong to a Shorts video, it redirects the regular player to the Shorts player.

Bathroom Emergency

Install switches in bathrooms that when pressed would raise an alarm throughout the house. This is to indicate that someone needs help in one of the bathrooms. This becomes especially useful at nighttime because then people are in their own rooms and if someone hasn't got their phone in the bathroom when they fall, it would be extremely unlikely that it is noticed.

These would ideally operate on more efficient hardware than an RPi because that would make deploying them and powering them with AA cells a much more achievable and long-lasting task.

Jack Sparrow's Compass

The idea is to have a servo-motor driven compass which points us to the destination that we have selected in the companion app. It doesn't point us to which route we should take but just generally which direction our destination is in. First version can be just an Android app showing a compass needle pointing towards our destination.

Hardware Conversation Starters

Based off of Trust Invitation I want to build a physical manifestation of it. One possible shape it could take is a LCD screen and a button attached to an Arduino which will show one random prompt on the screen each time the button is pressed.