Living in a house with six girls can be hectic: especially when you're in a three story row home! Group chats can get busy when everyone is always asking who is home or even just upstairs-- so we created a visual hardware solution. Now someone can always answer when Megan walks in and shouts, "Hello, who's here?!"
What it does
Hello, Megan! provides a quick, visual response to the question "who's home?" without any extra apps, webpages, or headache. LEDs assigned to each roommate in the house light up when they detect that a recognized phone has connected to the house wifi.
How we built it
Raspberry Pi all the way! nmap does all the heavy lifting, while bash scripts sniff for familiar MACs and call quick python code to update the LEDs.
Challenges we ran into
Limited Raspberry Pi experience, and no prior knowledge of networking at all! The last fourteen hours have been marked with anguish and joy all surrounding a single LED lighting up. Bec also spent hours self-teaching 3D modeling and designing a beautiful case for our product: which, tragically, never made it out of the printer. We also had an (extremely) late start today: due to spring break travel, Hello, Megan! didn't even start rolling until midnight.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
For having come in with no prior knowledge on the technologies we leveraged, we're all exhausted but very, very proud. Though the pieces never quite came together the way we imagined, we ended up with a functional project that not only gets us excited, but is something we can use every day.
What we learned
Networking, networking, networking: an idea so simple there's a million things that can go wrong. Did you know that iPhones can't be pinged like regular network devices and, even when they are contacted, refuse almost all attempted to handshake or be contacted? We found that out from the hours of 1:30am to about 6:00am. The sunrise was really metaphorical for us today. We also learned many, many things about 3D printing and the emotional roller coaster that is free modeling software.
What's next for Hello Megan
Things we'd love to wrap up:
- Cool, retro-style 3D printed case (About 75% done)
- Quick-add/drop/edit user profiles (95% done! Almost!)
- "Do Not Disturb" color option for LEDs (15%... we only just thought of that one ;) )
- (optional) Web interface. Was not pursued at all in the interest of creating a lean product, but hey, if Megan says she'd enjoy it...