Digital Tarot Card Reader Knows Your Future
Redditor Echo-Lalia built this digital tarot card reader, complete with mystical glitches.
As a skeptic, I don't believe that tarot cards have any kind of clairvoyant properties. But getting a tarot reading can be fun and even helpful for exploring one's own thoughts and feelings. Most people turn to professional tarot readings and those take some training to perform. You can, however, buy a deck of tarot cards and draw them yourself to try to gain insight into your psychology. Echo-Lalia wanted that without dealing with old-fashioned paper cards, so they built this digital tarot card reader with an E Ink screen to display the cards.
This device is very simple to operate: just push the big white button on the side and the E Ink screen will display a new random card. That card is truly random, because it uses electromagnetic noise as a seed for the random number generator. That's important for people who believe that there is magic in tarot cards — that would be much more difficult to accept if you knew that the device was drawing cards in a recognizable pattern. And because the E Ink screen is persistent, the device will continue to show the drawn card until the user pushes the button to get a new card.
Inside the 3D-printed enclosure there is a Waveshare RP2040-Plus, which is a clone of the Raspberry Pi Pico with additional flash memory (helpful for storing card images). That's paired with a 3.7" ePaper screen from Waveshare. There is a bone conduction transducer (a contact speaker) to play sound effects. In addition to the white card draw button, there are two switches. One is for power and one is for mode. The latter lets the user choose between "fast mode" and "full mode." In fast mode, the device just draws a new card and shows it immediately. In full mode, the device first plays an animation with some inspirational words.
To enhance the mysticism, Echo-Lalia also integrated glitches. Every time the device draws a card, there is a one in 20 chance that it will include a glitch. There are several possible glitches, such as vertical or horizontal tracking mishaps and grayscale inversion to create a "negative" effect.
Even the most skeptical among us can agree that this digital tarot card reader is exactly as magical as a real deck of tarot cards.