CONTRIBUTORS: Aidan Lucas, Emily Miller, Katelyn Ma, Paveen Mysorenanjundappa

HACK PREMISE: As California has gone through one of the most devastating fires since 2007, it has come to our attention that while most evacuation orders were completed with enough allocated time for a family to collect their belongings and follow emergency guidelines, the ability of individuals to react to fires was unevenly distributed, especially for those with hearing impairments.

In the deaf community, there is no accessible and portable device that alerts them to a fire, so whenever a deaf person moves into a new apartment or travels, they either have to go through a cumbersome process of alerting the fire department or housing occupants on the nature of their disability or share a room with someone with hearing. Furthermore, as one ages, sense of smell degrades rapidly, making it especially difficult for older occupants to respond in time to fire threats. Currently available alarms that can help, however, such as strobe lights and bed shakers are either very expensive or difficult to set-up in a room.

HACK IDEA: We wanted to build a device that would serve as a portable alarm for the deaf community, and is bluetooth shielded, therefore eliminating the need for internet access. The device detects the acoustical signature of the building’s fire alarm (the frequency is standardized by fire code) and sends a notification to an android watch via bluetooth. The watch will then vibrate and alert the owner. Additionally, the device includes a temperature sensor in case of fire in one’s personal vicinity while they are asleep.

While we understand that currently on the market there is the Nest Protect, we believe our device will better accommodate users because the device does not require a direct connection to the internet in order to alert users. Furthermore, our device’s low-cost components makes it cheaper and more accessible than that of the Nest.



-HARDWARE Arduino 101 Curie BLE Grove - Sound Sensor V1.6 Grove - Temperature Sensor V1.2 Portable Charger Grove Base shield Android Watch - LG Smartwatch G Watch Bluetooth 4.0 Lulzbot Taz 6 3D printed box for the arduino 101

-SOFTWARE Android Studio, language: Javascript/C# Arduino IDE, language: C++



  1. Arduino 101 sets up Curie BLE Bluetooth libraries
  2. Initializes local hostname
  3. Initializes bluetooth services and attributes
  4. The Arduino hub interfaces with the Grove Sound Sensor through the Base Shield
  5. Measures sensor data against a predetermined sound threshold
  6. If sensor data meets threshold, switches on bluetooth pinging


  1. The local hostname for the arduino is already pre-programmed into the app
  2. Android app continually scans bluetooth connections
  3. Once it finds a connection that matches the preprogrammed hostname, it triggers the alarm
  4. Alarm gets watch to vibrate

EXTENSIONS: If possible we would like to use a TI Sensor Tag, which includes a more accurate barometer, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and light sensor, in a financially accessible package. We also see another possible extension in attachable wall sensors that can sync with an arduino board to detect changes in air pressure, temperature, and humidity. This would increase the area screened by the arduino and provide for a greater expansion of services, such as gas leak detection.



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