Inspiration

The good people of Waterstons reminded us that 25% of UK energy goes on heating. That is a lot of energy, and we are certain that a lot of it is wasted by carelessness. Our web app is to solve one of the causing problems.

What it does

Current functionality:

  • if the window (=door) is open while the html page is running, the page will notify you about the opening action and start a countdown.
    • getting data from the sensor using an API! (wow, learned so much @_@)
    • little to no delay (max delay = a few minutes).
  • the countdonw, once started will be displayed on the page.
    • set to 20s for dev purposes.
  • the time runs out - the page complains, telling you not to waste heat.

How we built it

3 of our team members do not have experience in coding. So, we have divided the tasks in 2 categories: one which requires little to no programming knowledge; the other one - for more experienced developers. This let us have 3 people work on the front end, and 2 people work on the back end. During testing we used the Open / Closed sensor available on our floor (2). A lot of going back and forth, but it was worth it. We have analysed the CO2 data to see how the general ventilation frequently and duration can be adjusted. This is for the app to fit our building better. Data analysis can be found in graph ppm vs time.pptx. For the demonstration purposes, however, we've set the timer to be short (20 seconds). Also, the Open / Close sensor we are using is placed on the door on level 2 (sensor 3). But that does not affect our approach logically.

Challenges we ran into

As we mentioned above, majority of our team has not done programming before. So, the challenge was especially difficult for them. But, even the more experienced ones struggled on working with the API. It was all new, so it only make sense. For example, when we were trying to get data from the sensor, for quite a while it was not clear why we are not getting the right thing. But, after carefully studying the API documentation we made the process move forward.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our fresh developers now know how to work with HTML. The complex tasks of adding images and sounds. Even some javascript to set up the timer. We are very proud of their achievements. As for the rest of us, we now have experience of working with sensors. Overcoming the difficulties of dealing with APIs made us VERY happy. If we are being honest, most of javascript has been forgotten. So, this task was a great revision.

What we learned

  • how to work with sensors;
  • how to work with APIs;
  • how to set up the HTML;
  • how to add elements to the HTML;
  • how to style the web page;
  • how to use Github;
  • data analysis and presentation;
  • a lot of new commands in javascript (like async function)

What's next for Window Shutty

In future updates, the web app will be able to detect when the window closes, which shall trigger another timer. This timer is to make sure you ventilate the later on. Want for our users to not suffocate :) The events described above are then to be put in a singe infinite loop. It will run for as long as the web page is open. In case of our university, the CO2 sensors can be used together with the Open / Close sensor. So, current CO2 values will be used as guidance for when to open the windows, instead of the approximate timer guide. This will improve accuracy of our web advisor :)

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