Keep track of how "Popping" an area is with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or IOT device. We created a prototype product of what could be a campus-wide system to allow users to check how busy certain areas are. Say you are hungry but you don't have a lot of time in between classes. You could quickly check how busy the nearby dining halls are to see which one would have the shortest lines.
We track the busyness of an area by using Wi-Fi Packet sniffing from a laptop or IOT device to detect how many devices there are nearby. Anyone in the area with their Wi-Fi enabled would be picked up by our system. The Wi-Fi scanning program we used is made by schollz and published on GitHub found here. We ran this program on an old Dell laptop running Linux to allow us to have access to the Wi-Fi monitoring mode. We then wrote a simple script to automatically run the Wi-Fi scanning program, count the number of mobile phones in the area using Wi-Fi, and then upload that number to our Google Firebase. The Firebase server then sends the data to Google Assistant* and our web application at www.isitpopping.com. This system could be expanded to have many more devices in numerous locations.
*Currently the Google Assistant action is a prototype because we had difficulties connecting it with Firebase
Challenges and What We Learned
Initially, we planned to use the Quallcom Dragon 410c board to run our Wi-Fi scanning software but we discovered that monitoring mode was locked on that device so it would not work for our purposes. We then had to track down a spare laptop and install Linux onto it in order for the project to work. Another challenge was getting Firebase to connect with Google Assistant and Dialogflow. We learned about working with Wi-Fi networks and dealing with Linux problems. Neither of us had created a Google Assistant Action with Dialogflow before and that process turned out to be trickier than we predicted. Overall we loved working on this project.
Run the command: ` pip install howmanypeoplearearound
Big thanks to schollz for making howmanypeoplearearound and the organizers of HackKU!