Being able to always be on top of the weather can be hard, since most of us lead busy lives. With Weather or Not, we put the weather in your hands so you can see the weather either now or later and make smart decisions because of it.
What it does
Our product emulates the weather using pumps, fans, LEDs, and a WiFi-connected microcontroller. Using these factors, we can build a product that contributes to the ever-growing list of IoT devices.
How we built it
A Particle Photon powers our device by having webhooks that a web-client can access. These hooks allow us to call functions and see the status of the device without any tedious or harsh-looking user interfaces. From there the Photon manages all of the circuitry to be able to turn on relays, flash LEDs, start fans, and eventually, get a fully working fog machine to simulate the most fascinating weather.
Challenges we ran into
To get fog/mist into the device, we had to buy a fog machine, but the size is infeasible for our product. As an alternative, we created our own heating element to make the fog, but we didn't have a capable power supply to get the power into the it. Lastly, waterproofing requires time to get parts to dry properly, and this bottlenecked our development time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our UI is clean and simple, and connects the Photon seamlessly with any device. The rain and LED lighting shows a realistic representation of rain and different lighting conditions. Application of electrical knowledge from classes.
What we learned
Think of the idea 2 days earlier, so we can buy all of the necessary parts that are sized properly. Although this is one of our last hackathons, there is always new tricks to help make it more seamless. Take a 2 hour nap once in a while, it helps with productivity.
What's next for Weather or Not
Get fog working and we'll be using this inside of our house in no time. You get to decide if you'd want that too.