Thought I'd show you a project I've been working on.
It's a LCD which shows information like time remaining, time elapsed, total length, volume, and status (playing/paused etc) for a video that's playing in Media Player Classic
. It also has a IR receiver, so you can control the video using a standard remote control.
That extra chip is just a darlington array to drive the backlight, because I didn't have a suitable transistor on its own.
A little Java application runs and grabs the info from MPCs web interface and passes it on to the Arduino. It listens for IR commands coming from the Arduino too, and pretends to be a WinLIRC server to pass the command on to MPC.
On its own, it does very little, just prompts for the desktop app to be run. When MPC isn't running, it displays the time and date, which is sent from the computer every second.
I'm planning on using the bottom line to display RSS feeds or new email notifications, or something like that.
Both the Java app and the Arduino program are easy to extend and add different stuff to. Sending new data is as simple as defining a new command type in the Java app and passing a Command object to a Class that wraps the RXTX stuff. The Arduino program then just needs an extra case in a switch statement to handle it.
The big number in the middle is the time remaining, the numbers on the right hand side are the time elapsed(top), and the total length (bottom). A symbol on the left appears when the video is paused or stopped, and the volume bar shows when it is muted.