Sunday, 30 November 2014

IoTogether Hackaton 2014: IoT loving with the LoveTotem

 IoTogether was a competition event for 7-8 co-located teams in Trento and Barcelona. Remote teams will be composed by participants from both sides who will be asked to interact via Future Internet videoconferencing tool provided by the SPECIFI project.

Partnership: CREATE-NET, MuSe, BCNLab, I2CAT and the City of Barcelona.

The idea was as freaky as it could get, is a lot funnier to start explaining our team concept from the prototyping stage up to the final application...

At the Barcelona location we implemented a force sensor with a 3-axis accelerometer integrated to a wool glove, to measure both force of impact, movement and acceleration, displayer over a LED bar for our viewing pleasure, hooked up with a GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) sensor to measure the "arousal" level of its wearer.  To interface the sensors we used an Arduino bundled with a WiFI module, to send the sensed data over Glue.Things to the Trento location.

We did also manage to send data to Ubidots and The Things.IO.

At Trento side there was a dildo-shaped lamp (yes, a dildo), changing colors according to the data received from the glove by selectively turning RGB LEDs, using force, acceleration, arousal and muscular response data... well, you know, leave it to the Italians to sex-it up a Hackaton :)

One of the main challenge of the event was actually to set up everything from each side while talking to each group, unfortunately the co-location resources went bad and we ended up talking over Skype, and emulating both input and outputs isolated, but at the end we were glad it worked out.

The official name of the project was "The LoveTotem", to be honest the horny lamp would be a better name, but regardeless the name of the actual use case, what was interesting about the project, and the event, was to put a bunch of people together, with the right tools and attitude, and create something, whatever, as long as it works, you cannot save the world with a killer app in 4 hours, but building "anything" is the first step to get more stuff rolling... who knows? everything can be reused and interpreted in many different ways, with a different angle this would also make a good physical rehabilitation tool, a social game to take introverts into social engaging with physycal interaction with others, nnevertheless, I loved the lamp challenge... it was so out of my field that it was cool to try to design a matching application to feed love to the Totem.

 This was the official description of the project:
"LoveTotem": Suppose you are too far from your sweetheart and you want to know how really he/she feels, or share emotions without talk! Your partner can wear the LoveSensors: when you'll turn on your LoveTotem, you'll see it take strong/hot color if your partner is excited, or soft blue light if is relaxed. Love Totem uses an open hardware platform (Arduno Yun) and human sensors like (Muscle sensor,Temperature/Humidity, GSR) in order to track the state of a person and transmits these data through dedicated API to a cloud platform (GlueThings). On the other side, another Love Totem will retrieve these data, representing them with a mix of some colored leds. Leds are placed in a lamp, which we have designed and made using a laser cutter and a 3d printer.
At the end our team was one of the two winning teams of the event, with a caveat: the team members posted at SPECIFI site is wrong, Barcelona's team members are swapped with other team (Aitor is actually a colleague of work, but at a different group), the correct line-up is the following: Andrés Hernández Casaus, Hector Esteller, Pablo Carbajal and yours truly.

We got plenty of goodies, including Spark Cores for each of the members, sensors (I got a soil moisture sensor, the GSR and a couple of buzzers), along with a Shield-Shield.

Here is the full list of the developed projects:
  1. "SeeTy": a urban garden community that merges gardens around the world.
  2. "LoveTotem": a lamp to express remote feelings for lovers.
  3. "WineCheck": check wine bottles temperatures on your smartphone.
  4. "Remote Interactive House Control": remote management of houses temperature & humidity.
  5. "EmotionalBag": a bag monitoring and displaying its user's emotional status.
  6. "SmartGlove": a glove that senses the heart beat and the level of stress.
  7. "BluePresence": a smartwatch managing smartlights with power consumption profiling.
  8. "CarFinder": cars tracking on the web with GPS sensor.
If you ever stumble upon a Hackaton organized by the same people behind IoTogether, be sure to attend, besides the good folks assisting the event, and the electronic goodies, the food was sincerely amazing, no cold pizzas and warm beers, a full-catered event with food coming and going at the pace of cold beer and hot coffee, just what a maker needs.

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