Has your mom ever told you your eyes are too close to your monitor? Well, ours have. Introducing PingPal, your solution to "happy and healthy" (as Olivia Rodrigo would put it) eyes. PingPal is an attachment you place on top of your desktop/laptop monitor that helps you be aware of your distance from your screen. Along with the PingPal mobile app, you can track trends of when you were an unsafe distance from the screen, so you can build healthier habits.
What it does
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety states that a healthy distance between your eyes and the screen is 40-71 cm. PingPal is a sensor that you place on top of your laptop/desktop screen that uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect the distance of your head from the screen. If you are in a safe distance from the screen, the RGB LED shows green. If you are too close to the screen (<40 cm away), then the LED will shine red, signalling you to adjust your posture and distance.
The data is then sent to the PingPal app where it shows a trend of when the greatest number of red alerts were shown. The analytics of the app will help the user to correct their posture long-term.
How we built it
We used the Arduino Uno and Arduino IDE to code the hardware component. The distance was measured with an HC-SRO4 Ultrasonic Module. We then used React Native to build an app that would connect to the Arduino. It will store the data collected and display it in a chart for the user to track their habits.
Challenges we ran into
Originally we planned on using Blynk with the Arduino, however, the NodeMCU was not compatible with our laptop, so we had to switch to building our own app. We also had difficulty downloading and setting up React. Although we were able to code a very simple version with React, we ultimately decided it would be better to show a mockup of our app instead to properly showcase what we imagined our app to look like.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Being able to work remotely and communicate with each other to connect hardware with software to build PingPal :)
What we learned
This was our first time using React so we learned how to use the platform to build an app.
What's next for PingPal
Building a more robust app for PingPal and adding new features to the hardware attachment, such as measuring the angle from your eyes to the screen! Additionally, being able to analyze data and trends from the physical sensor in the app.