Distance means so little when your loved ones know when you think about them. With "Internet of things" one can relay their heart rate to a doctor, it should be heard by the one, it's beating for.
What it does
Android app measures the heart rate when the user places his/her finger on the camera. The measured heartbeat and selected emotion are transmitted to the raspberry pi which controls blinking of the led at heart rate. It's a gift to that special someone, symbolizing you giving them your heart. Personalizing the message of thinking about them and conveying emotions colorfully and even letting them see your heart beat.
How we built it
- We first built an electric circuit that could control the color of the light using a raspberry pi, then by using Pubnub we were able to control the light over the internet.
- We made an android app, as it is the next logical step guaranteeing the application accessibility to control the light remotely.
- The heart rate of the user is measured with the frame rate calculation from the phone's camera and is used to determine the frequency of blinking.
Challenges we ran into
It is a weekend of firsts, an android app development, participating in a hackathon and tinkering with a raspberry pi. Understanding how all the three work and constant tweaking of features kept us on our toes. Although we could get over most of the challenges, designing a convincing UI for this application for first timers was too great an obstacle to surpass.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
A great learning experience, beginning of something more and great fun! Being able to prototype an idea and adding features to make it better.
What we learned
Combining IoT, development of an Android app and love is a serious fun cocktail. Developing an IoT solution and the research that came with it has definitely enhanced our understanding of the application developer's perspective in a very pragmatic manner. Android studio made life super easy and kept us going with the breakneck pace we needed to. Discussing emotions and the visual appeal that would make lasting impressions on people is a baby step in understanding how powerful the appeal of UI is the app world. Lastly, raspberry pi is the new toy we will surely tinker more in the near future. All these gave us a very comprehensive end to end experience in product development from ideation to a final product.
What's next for Valentine's
Raspberry pi was our best option to prototype. In future, we would explore using options like esp2866 which has a Wi-Fi module and is the size of a stamp and costs ~$7. The end goal is to make the whole product cost between $10-$15. It would also be interesting to link wearables with heart monitoring capabilities to the app. Presence of person can be felt with other senses including scent. It would be interesting to remotely control an air freshener to let the loved ones feel the presence of the other.