Video calling is becoming the warmest (and the only possible) way to meet relatives and friends. I’m having FaceTime and Whatsapp calls all the time with my parents, my friends, my nephews and we are also organizing remote dinners together. That’s great but I have the feeling that we can do better.
Our goal is to make senior people feel less lonely, families feel closer, and friends spending more quality time together. All remotely.
What it does
We are designing an easy to use webcam kit, pluggable into any TV to make video calls from the comfort of your living room. This kit is suitable for everyone, but it's designed to improve the quality of the life of older people and people with difficulties in general. Having more and longer calls means a lot to senior people.
For charity: Kits will be given for free to people who can't afford it, to no-profit organizations and to elderly care facilities thanks to a marketplace that encourages kit donations.
For good: If hopefully during this hackathon we find a solution that is feasible combining standard products that you can find on the market, we will publish a simple guide to build these kits for free. Making money from this project is not a priority at all.
For senior people: Technically, a special kit is designed for older people: it comes with everything pre-installed, including a Skype account. For this version, there is no setup needed, remote configuration possible, parental control (elderly), battery-powered, 4g connection, anti-scam, hardware buttons, and much more.
Grandpas will be able to feel closer to their families and see their grandchildren playing on the floor.
For Businesses: The kit is suitable for meeting rooms.
In general: Everyone should stay home, this kit allows groups to stay closer, make longer calls and refrain to meet in person for a while.
Advantages are many:
- No need to hold a smartphone
- Al the family fits in the frame
- Make longer calls while seated on the sofa
- Make nice remote dinners
- Better audio and video quality And much more...
How I built it (Still building)
The prototype is being made with a cheap webcam plus a Raspberry Pi with Skype
Challenges I ran into
Keeping the price low. Dealing with hardware. (Still running into)
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
What I learned
Even though this project is simple, it still needs a larger team, funding, and partnerships.
What's next for The living room webcam
The goal is to make an all-in-one station with a cheap embedded device.
Competitors and alternatives
Facebook Portal TV is the direct competitor There are many alternatives: Smart TVs with webcams, tablets, laptops. This product is designed for those people that are currently not using the above alternatives.