We were inspired by those moments that we all have, where we have groceries in one hand and are fumbling with the keys in the other.

What it does

It allows you to open your door without your keys or phone, by leveraging the power of Azure Cognitive Services to authenticate you when you walk up to your door.

This incredibly flexible solution is also ideal for those who frequently adjust who is authorized to enter their home, and would allow you, for example, to allow the neighbor to come by and turn off your gas stove with nothing more than a picture of their face.

How we built it

Open Sesame was based upon Azure for authentication, and the Dragonboard 410 & a laptop PC for computing. We also made extensive use of the 3-d printers in order to manufacture our latching mechanism, and used an Arduino to control the motor actuating the latch.

Challenges we ran into

We were unable to access a USB webcam that would work with the Dragonboard 410. We were forced to use the webcams on our laptops. This was unfortunate, because while our code is cross-platform and works equally well on the Dragonboard as a Windows or Linux PC, we had to bring the bulk of a laptop the the demo.

We also had difficulty connecting to the wrong Azure region, but once we figured that out, there were no further issues.

The bolt holding the stepper motor onto the latching mechanism broke while being inserted. It was quite difficult to remove and replace it.

The wifi on the Dragonboard was fairly difficult to set up and frequently dropped out. After using some different software to configure it, the issues appeared to go away.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Imanuel: I'm proud of being able to figure out the Azure API. It's actually much easier than I thought it would be.

What we learned

We learned FreeCAD, which we used to design all components of the latching mechanism. We also learned to use the Azure Cognitive Services to authenticate groups of people. Azure was much easier to use than AWS has been.

What's next for Open Sesame

Qualcomm is developing ultrasonic fingerprint readers in order to allow users to access their phones by touching any point on the screen. This technology could also be applied to a doorknob to provide a more secure and reliable method of opening doors: the instant your fingers touch the doorknob, you are authenticated and can enter.

This may also be useful in commercial settings, such as hotels, offices, and dorms, to allow for incredibly granular and transparent access restrictions. Authorized users will be able to go where they need to by simply opening the door, but unauthorized users will be kept out.

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