If you drive, you are most likely to have this kind of experience: you drive into a parking lot, wondering around for 20 minutes, but couldn't find a place to park because the parking lot is full. It's a big problem, especially in big cities and even worse when you are in a hurry for an appointment, an interview, a conference, you name it. With the internet of things and all those hardware provided in WearHacks KW 2016, we came up with a great solution by integrating some IoT devices with an innovative and effective idea of detecting if parking spots are occupied or not.

What it does

Our product detect if a parking spot is occupied or not. It will do that for all parking spots in each parking lot, and send those data onto our cloud, at real time. A driver installs our smartphone application. Without hand-on interaction with our app, the driver will be able to know:

  1. the closest parking lots that have free parking spots;
  2. the best parking lot for the driver to park currently;
  3. how to navigate to the empty parking spot in the parking lot. Note: The whole process is hands-free interaction. Our app will deliver all feedback to the user by talking to the driver so that s/he will be able to concentrate on safe driving.

How I built it

Hardware side: Estimote Beacons, Relayr WunderBar; Software side: Google Android Studio, TTS, Java, Amazon Cloud Service.

Challenges I ran into

We had a difficulty in sending IoT data to the cloud, but thankfully, we got valuable help from our mentor team. We are team of two with limited background (especially me) in coding up our solution at such a short period of time.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  1. We 'made' an app (it's my first time, really exciting!), which basically work as we wanted!
  2. We successfully integrated most essential parts needed our solution.
  3. We had tons of fun!! Nice food and drinks!

Note: Cannot say enough thanks to all the organizing and execution people of WearHacks KW 2016! We really appreciate all the suggestions and advice we got from our mentors when we were stuck. Last but definitely not least, thanks all sponsors for providing those many devices!

What I learned

For both of us, we had the first time first hand-on experience working with IoT devices. We believe it's game-changing devices. We learned a lot from this experience. On my part, first phone application! Yeah! My teammate Linguan Yang: basically she worked out all the java coding and app development, enabling the functioning of an essential part of our solution. We added TTS to our solution, which makes the interaction and user experience much more intuitive and ensures safe-driving practice on the road. Definitely, 1 + 1 > 2!!! We came up with a solution by adding an interesting and inovative idea and IoT devices available. It is capable of making a difference in people's daily life! At least, we will experience less head-scratching and stress when you are in a hurry and need to find a parking spot in a busy big city.

What's next for Park Here

Lots of things, but I will list some here:

  1. solving pending problems with data management and processing on the server side.
  2. Integrating Twilio messaging(#WHKW), machine learning (e.g. Microsoft Azure ML) and nature language processing(e.g. Nuance NLP) into our solution, providing more useful features and better experience to the driver.
  3. Fine tuning our app to make it more convenient to be employed in the real driving scenario. Plus, product prototype, market study, etc.

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