A Romanian team just experimented with sending automated tweets using an iPhone and a Helium balloon during the Romanian Webstock conference.
The idea was pretty simple: get a regular balloon Helium filled, attach an iPhone using a custom application and set it free. Well, not really free because it was flying in the conference room only.
The iPhone took a picture at one minute interval and posted it automatically to Twitter. To see all the pics go to the project page.
They are also offering the source-code of the custom iPhone application (Objective-C), free of charge (MIT license). Just ask them.
This reminded me of these students from MIT who did the same (Project Icarus) but at a higher scale and using a photo camera instead of an iPhone.
They managed to send a simple Helium filled balloon into the stratosphere (18 miles high) equipped with a point and shoot photo camera which got some amazing pictures of the earth’s curvature. All for a mere $150 budget.
See some of the results below…