About a year ago I wrote a post about the brightness of various ASCII characters. It seemed like a fairly obscure and pointless thing to be investigating, but there was method to my madness. The characters identified by that research have been used in my new Android application, ASCII cam.

The application was actually finished several months ago, but it’s only recently that I’ve had time to design a decent launch icon. I’m quite happy with the way it turned out.

Here’s the promotional blurb for the Android Market …

A long time ago computers didn’t have graphics. All they could do was show green characters on a black screen or black characters on white paper.

But programmers were resourceful. They discovered that if you filled the screen with certain characters and squinted you could sort of make out a picture. Thus ASCII art was born.

The ASCII cam application lets you view the world as ASCII art using the camera on an Android device. Characters are displayed as green-on-black, white-on-black, or, for that line printer look, as dark-grey-on-white.

It’s just the thing for Android owners suffering iPhone envy: a photography application that’s even more retro than Hipstamatic. Short of simulating clay tablets or papyrus, this is as old-school as it gets.

Pictures can be saved as either PNG images or text files.

And here’s a screen shot …