As a grandchild or once a grandchild, we understand the difficulty of communicating with grandparents who live away from us. When we heard Heart of the Valley, Services for Seniors’ pitch regarding improving communication between grandparents and their family members, we immediately thought that watches would be a great option, as it is worn on our wrists most of the time.

What it does

Through an app on a smartwatch, elderlies can report various actions to their family members to give them a peace of mind. Even without self-reporting, the watch app will automatically detect motions through its accelerometer and allow family members to view their activities without prompting them.

How I built it

We split this project into three components — a smartwatch app, a mobile app, and a central database to communicate between both of them. The smartwatch app is built with Javascript and deployed on Pebble Smartwatch; the mobile app is built with Ionic Framework which utilizes AngularJS, NodeJS, and HTML5; the central database is a simple API and data structure developed on an Apache server with Java.

Challenges I ran into

We faced several challenges when deploying a central database and creating our own API, as we were trying to deploy on an Apache server using Java for the very first time. We looked for documentations and solutions and helped each other; in the end, we are able to successfully deploy a live server that transmit data in real-time.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The fact that we got 3 separate devices to connect together and transmit data in real-time is a breakthrough. We ran into several issues during the development process, but due to our team collaboration, we are able to resolve these issues together as a team and learn from these failures.

What I learned

Having a roadmap is very important as we have limited time and human resources. We have to split jobs between us carefully in order to get things done in time, and we need to know what is, and is not possible, upfront.

What's next for GrandWatch

We have plans to commercialize this idea and make it into a subscription-based service for the elderlies and family members to connect with each other. Since we already have a working prototype, we are looking into deploying a more stable central database in order to make it ready for production.

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