In honour of the highly anticipated Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Whitehorse’s MacBride Museum today, the Government of Yukon’s Department of Tourism and Culture launched their new digital guestbook that leverages innovative Telegraph to Tweet technology developed by Make IT.
With the museum being home to the Yukon’s historic Telegraph Office, guests to the museum are now able to sign the digital guestbook on Twitter using a one-hundred-year-old telegraph key. Today, history was made when the Duke and Duchess were the inaugural entry into the book, having their message typed in Morse code by Douglas Bell, former Commissioner of Yukon and telegraph operator.
Requiring a very specific skill set to bring this concept to life, Seamus Venasse, our talented Senior Software Developer, received a phone call from the Department of Tourism and Culture and was asked if the idea of interfacing a telegraph key to Twitter was even possible.
Seamus, being the problem solver that he is, said “of course!” and within a few weeks, had developed the solution.
“This project was an interesting example of different technologies combining to create something new,” says Seamus. “The development of the Telegraph to Tweet concept really allowed me to leverage different areas of expertise to achieve the end goal. Hardware, software, mobile, cloud technologies and even woodworking went in to the development of this technology.”
Morse code is a combination of short and long signals that represent letters and numbers.
While a message is being transmitted on the telegraph key, a microcontroller with built in wifi records the duration of time the telegraph key is pressed and released.
Once the operator has completed the message, the microcontroller will send the recording of these signals to a webserver.
The webserver then converts the raw signals into a more useful language for processing – essentially wrapping the raw data into objects to represent the telegraph key being up and down.
And this video tweeted out by @KensingtonRoyal captures exactly how it went down with the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge this morning:
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 28, 2016
The Make IT team was honoured to be involved in creating a memorable experience for the Royal Tour. To follow the Telegraph to Tweet guestbook, visit @telegraph_tweet. To view our press release about the launch of the technology, click here.