Practicing speed-cubing used to require the constant carrying of bulky timers or cumbersome smartphone apps that could not accurately measure your time. With this new Pebble smart watch interface a user can easily get accurate speed-cube timing

What it does

Our watch app measures the precise time it takes a user to solve a Rubik's cube. The timer starts automatically when the user picks up the cube ans stops as soon as they put it down. This allows them to get a more accurate time to their solve.

How we built it

We used Pebble's cloud developer to create an app for the watch. This software enabled us to access the accelerator inside the Pebble. We used the raw data flowing in from the accelerator to measure when the user picks up the Rubik's Cube, and again when they put it down. These two measurements allowed us to find the precise time it took the user to solve the cube without any direct interaction from the user.

Challenges we ran into

Our biggest challenge was creating an algorithm that could distinguish the user picking up and putting down the cube, from every motion in between. This algorithm required hours of testing the various readings given during different motions. It also required testing many algorithm as we improved each one as we went along.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are most proud of finding a way to tell the difference between a user rotating the cube while solving versus just picking it up or putting it down.

What we learned

Initially, we thought it wouldn't take us long at all to make this app. However, we were wrong in thinking that the motions we were trying to detect could be found by simply looking for a change in acceleration. We learned that motion was a lot more complex than this, especially in a 3D system.

What's next for So Easy A Baby Could Do it!

There are a couple of ideas we had to take this idea further:

  • Keep track of the user's times, so he or she can instantly see how each solve compares to his or her average
  • Create a web based or mobile app platform that would graph the user's solves and let him or her see how he or she has progressed
  • Continue to improve the accelerator algorithm

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