Ever been in a situation where you wanted to get info from your phone but either couldn't or didn't want to to take out your phone? When you're riding your bike, chatting with friends or walking with your hands full, it's hard and distracting to hold your smart phone in your hand. In these situations, you often need to get turn-by-turn navigation to where you're headed, but can't easily look at your phone screen throughout the entire journey. Sometimes you're even in an unsafe neighborhood or situation where you need directions but shouldn't take your phone out of your purse or pocket.
What it does
Buzz's simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use design gives you just the right amount of technology to make provide you with useful and unintrusive information from your phone. It pairs with your phone via bluetooth to deliver you important navigation cues in the form of light, directional vibrations based on Google Maps information. These features make Buzz essential for traversing through the urban undergrounds and getting where you're going easily and while paying attention to what's important.
Buzz is also an open-source hardware platform. While our applications for Buzz include navigation assistance and notification selection options, we'd love to see other developers apply Buzz to other interesting problems. We think Buzz could easily be used as an aid for people with visual or hearing impairments.
When you're not using Buzz to go on new adventures, you can also use our app to play a Marco Polo game with your friends.
How I built it
Buzz is composed of a Flora microcontroller connected to a bluetooth module which work together to control two small vibration motors (one on the left and one on the right of the wrist). We developed an easy-to-use Android app that runs in the background of your phone, and created the physical smart band.
What's next for Buzz
Probably buzzing! We've got our Android app up on Github, but we're working on making Buzz compatible with iOS as well.