We wanted to design something that would fit into the modern internet of things. Part of our inspiration came from the massive number of people on the Georgetown guest internet and another part came from a survey of sensors that were available to us. We saw temperature and motion sensors and thought about doing something that could track the movements of people, allowing for better responses to certain needs, such as heating or extra routers.
What it does
Our product has two sides to it. The first is a program that can be loaded onto any embedded device that is connected to the internet. It works by sending out a ping on the wifi system that the device is connected to through the closest router, and then collecting data on the number of devices connected to the internet through that router. This information is then put onto our website which updates in realtime to provide location, trend, and device-specific data in an aesthetically pleasing manner. This information can then be used to monitor foot traffic or provide extra routers in high usage areas among other things.
How we built it
We treated the embedded devices(we chose to use Spirent Qubes and Raspberry Pi's) like computers. The program is loaded onto the devices and it can then run indefinitely. These devices can be placed near any routers in order to gather information. The website was built off of an existing template which we modified to better fit the information we needed to present.
Challenges we ran into
This was a very ambitious project for a team of freshman. Each stage of development presented its own challenges. It took us a while to decide on this project, along with what applications it could possibly have. Then we had the challenge of figuring out how to send out pings through the code that we wrote in Python. This was novel to all of us, and we started out with no idea how it would be done, or even that it could be done. Even as that was being figured out, other members of the team were writing algorithms to parse through the large amounts of complex data that the ping would return. Creating a website that was both pleasing to the eye and able to effectively present the info was challenging as well. Formatting everything was a huge challenge that took hours of tinkering in order to get right.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that in such a short amount of time we were able to finish a project that collected data on everybody connected to the wifi(possibly our most proud accomplishment), and send it all to a nice website. More specifically, getting the code, especially the OS detection system, onto a handheld device and seeing it work was our proudest moment.
What we learned
There was a mountain of tasks in front of us at the start of the hackathon, but each task taught us interesting things. We learned the most about OS detection on wifi networks, but we also gained a lot of experience in data processing and website design. Overall this taught the entire team about time management and efficiently splitting up tasks.
What's next for IP Linkr
We intend to develop more intensive scans and packet sniffing. We would also like to bring IP Linkr to a broader range of devices like mobile phones.