IoT class exercises + Final Project Sketches

My first idea is a cookie jar tracker. It would have a sensor inside that every time it opens it counts how many times it is opened. Pretty straightforward, I want to complicate it but not sure how.

The second idea is a vanity check. Being locked up in quarantine for almost a year, it’s natural to be overly critical of your body. This tracker would count how many times you appear and stay in front of the mirror for more than 3 seconds.

And my last idea incorporates my background photography. I know a lot of my friends have started Covid projects where they photograph people from 6 feet away. Initially, I wanted this to be linked to a crappy digital camera and rest on my window sill facing the street. And whenever anyone would come within a certain distance, the camera would automatically take a picture. Then I was thinking about how we really don’t keep 6 feet of distance anymore, despite the pandemic being worse than it ever has been in the US. So I was going to link up a GoPro and a big LED sign to one’s chest telling people to back off. Additionally, whenever anyone is closer than six feet, it would take a picture of them.

One thought on “IoT class exercises + Final Project Sketches”

  1. Nice brainstorm, Stephen. I would have liked to know you were having Arduino trouble before the homework deadline, but we’ll get it sorted.

    I think your first idea is the most feasible. There are options for what kind of sensor you use to detect opening (such as a switch where the lid meets, or photoresistor inside). For output, you can brainstorm the function– do you get an SMS alert when the jar is opened? Do you get a weekly email summary of your stats? If it’s not “approved cookie time” perhaps an alarm goes off or money is automatically deposited into your savings account. Just brainstorming.

    The mirror idea is less feasible because you want it to detect a person in front of the mirror, which isn’t easy under all conditions. If it’s in your bathroom (not easily triggered by non-mirror activity), then maybe a PIR motion sensor is sufficient, but it would be measuring your total at-the-sink time. To detect if you are actually looking at the mirror, you’d need a camera and some facial recognition software (too beefy for Arduino).

    It’s feasible to build a device that triggers when somebody is closer than 6 feet in one direction (multiple directions require multiple sensors), and the sensor I’d recommend is a distance sensor (such as an ultrasonic rangefinder or infrared distance sensor) (different than a PIR motion sensor which does not give you distance). You’d likely have to trigger the gopro shutter with a motor, which is less than elegant but might be fun.

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