I like the idea behind these Schemer programmable modules by Aniomagic. Instead of using a special programming cable or serial bootloader, they use a light sensor to read simple programs directly from your computer monitor. The nice thing about this is you don’t need to invest in any specialized hardware, or even install anything on your computer to use it (their tool works runs right from their website). The downside is that the programs probably can’t be very complicated, or they would take a long time to download using this method.
I’m a little bummed though, because they don’t seem to be open source. Has anyone attempted to do something like this using an open platform? [Thanks, Lea!]