Smart home & Internet of Things devices are a bold new frontier in the world of hardware and software. We wanted to get our hands dirty and try building something to make use of these devices.

What it does

Big Brother (would) combine data from various home sensors to provide useful security information and actions (alerts, alarms, etc.)

How we built it

We used Bottle, a very simple Python library for building web servers. Pages are rendered with Bottle's SimpleTemplate Engine and data is stored in an Sqlite3 database. We divided the work by scope: some working mostly on the back-end and others mostly on the front-end.

Challenges we ran into

It's easy to overshoot when going into a hackathon. Even with a decent amount of preparation, we were in a little over our heads in terms of workload.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're very happy to have a (somewhat) presentable project this year --especially the event log viewer, which is the only "fully integrated" part of the system (The REST API, database and web viewer are all connected together).

What we learned

We all became more familiar with the importance of environment tools (pip and venv, in Python's case) and the role those tools play in bringing new team members up to speed and in sync with one another. We also learned a lot about web development in general.

What's next for cornhacks2019

Big Brother would need a lot of extra work and polish before it would be usable as a practical tool, but building it was a great learning experience for all of us. That being said, I think we'll try to tackle a smaller project next time.

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