Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Introducing PyCARS!

I recently purchased a second Raspberry Pi, the model 2, and a 7" touch screen. Originally I was going to use it to build a home automation HUD which I could place either on my wall or in my living room somewhere. However, after attaching the LCD to the Pi, I found it a bit too bulky for such an elegant task... My idea now is to build it out into a bedside HUD/alarm clock system. Of course, this HUD system will be built in the Python language, and so I am here to share my current implementation, and a progress report with my fellow Python peers.

During the development, I needed to figure out some sort of UX/UI to use for this, and since I have a good passion for the Star Trek series, I thought using their LCARS design ideas would be a good base to start with. Currently, there really is no design or anything trek related(besides the sound effects) in the project. However, as the project matures, I am hoping to develop it into more of an app platform, where I can easily extend the functionality for new use-cases. Currently, it can act as a basic clock with a huge display. The display itself can be dimmed easily, and can also be completely turned off when not in use or when your asleep. There is a basic alarm system in place that cannot be configured without updating the Python code. I also built in some hue control functionality into it, so that I can easily control my bedroom and master bathroom lights with ease.

To keep this open source project from copyright and legal issues, no assets, such as images or sound files will be included alongside the source code. Also, the project will never make mention to LCARS, only PyCARS, which isn't copyrighted or trademarked by CBS Interactive. CBS has been known to take down software with LCARS interfaces, such as the Tricorder app for Android. Although, they don't seem to take down every LCARS related fan project, which seems very weird... I am unsure why they target some projects, and leave others alone.

You can view and download the source code repository from my BitBucket page PyCARS

Since this page might be noticed by a CBS interactive lawyer one day, here are some other LCARS related projects which have been around for a lot longer, which legal action has not been taken yet:

Just in case: Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation are trademarks of PARAMOUNT PICTURES and CBS. In NO CASE is use of any copyrighted material, or any related, derived or inferred ideas intended as a claim of ownership to those copyrights/trademarks. I am in NO way associated with Paramount Pictures or CBS.

Furthermore, I will not be making any money, nor selling any material copyrighted by CBS Interactive. This project will remain open source, under a license I still need to consider. This Python project will also never be distributed with copyrighted material, such as images and sounds created by CBS Interactive. If the end-user using this Python project so rightfully chooses to violate CBS Interactive copyright and trademarks and uses LCARS images, fonts, and sounds, the end-user will remain fully liable by law. However, I highly doubt CBS interactive will pursue a John Doe for using LCARS images and sounds in the personal confines on his own home. However, if this project ends up being used by a larger corporation for UI/UX(although I highly doubt that will ever happen), it is their duty to provide whatever image, font, and sound assets suite their particular interface requirements. I am being as clear as possible here, that I am absolutely not distributing any CBS Interactive copyrighted or trademarked material with this open source Python project. CBS Interactive can clearly download the entire codebase and fully examine it for any copyrighted or trademarked data. However, since the LCARS system used in the show isn't really a real computer program doing stuff, and I highly doubt that the LCARS system for the TV/movies is made in Python... I should be-able to fully rest my case that this project is absolutely and definitely 100% legal. So take your best shot CBS Interactive, you've got nothing on this project.

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