Final project- living room

Final project- living room

by amlo mchoun95 shruthin | updated January 30, 2015


     -Given the living room theme, we were tasked with developing an 
      interactive artifact which would address the needs of a living room.
-We will have 3 phases to this project
          1). Needfinding and brainstorming ideas
          2). Prototyping concepts/reiterating designs
          3). Finalizing a product


January 13, 2015 at 11:05 AM
Created by mchoun95
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We went to the 1st floor lounge of the Student Center to get a better understanding of a living room like environment.

Some things we found were:
      -People eating
      -People talking
      -People on phones/electronics
      -People waiting
      -Separate groups
      -Tables and chairs were awkward together; people had to hunch                          over to use the table for its conventional purposes.
      -No outlets
      -No convenient space to place backpacks

January 13, 2015 at 11:06 AM
Created by mchoun95
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     -Water fountains
     -White board
     -Bathroom nearby
     -Power outlets
Human Interactions:
     -Sit around tables for group meetings/work
     -TV and White board for group viewing
     -Napping on Couches
     -Eating food
     -Backpacks on unused furniture
    -Game consoles
    -Expo markers

January 13, 2015 at 9:18 PM
Created by mchoun95
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Observations in the Baker 3rd West lounge


--Very social

--often has music playing

--occasionally people study


--Hanging out with friends

--Eating food


--Playing games on laptops

--making hot chocolate

--watching TV


--People arguing over music

--not enough white board space

--cords not reaching to outlets

--TV doesn't have a stand--bad angle

--hard to carry out several conversations--too loud




January 13, 2015 at 9:48 PM
Created by amlo
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PEOPLE: college students who live in Next - mostly from 3W, with a few people from the nearby wings (e.g. 3E, 4W)


  • earlier in the day - louder, more crowded atmosphere
    • groups of people playing boardgames or video games on the multiple gaming consoles
    • groups of people working together on psets or other projects
    • people working alone, normally with laptops
    • relaxing/socializing
    • food stock in corner -> eating/snacking
  • later in the day: quieter, much less people
    • mostly people working alone
    • sleeping on the multiple couches, bean bags, stuffed animals


  • lots of clutter (piles of food, desks are covered, floor has many obstacles)
  • harder to concentrate during the day
    • loud noises + multiple distractions


  • lots of power strips and outlets for people working with electronic devices
  • multiple comfortable objects for the sleeping people
  • lots of different activities: social area
  • people seem comfortable with leaving their personal belongings here - they trust all other users of the space

January 14, 2015 at 2:27 AM
Created by shruthin
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Wow, the bed in the middle of the common space is fascinating! Is that always there, or was it just brought out for someone to nap on? I'm interested in the types of supplementary furniture people bring out into the space.
almost 2 years ago

Smart walls--Makes a white board/smart board out of any flat wall. Has a projector that projects what you write on the wall (you write with a soft felt pen so it leaves mark on the wall). The pen records the movements you have been making (records movement when tip is under pressure). It send this information to the projector which then projects it. Notes are also saved and can be uploaded to a computer.

Remote Table: This is a table with a surface that acts like a tablet--can be used as a remote control with other customizable options. Could also serve as a remote to control other electronics like a stereo. Maybe integrate board games?  

Music Democracy: This is a way of compromising on music when you have guests or share a living room. The speaker has a "voting system" built in. Using bluetooth, listeners can vote on the song playing and queue songs they want to here. If enough people down-vote the song, the song will change to the next in the queue. 

Programmable Lighting: This is an app synced with the lights in the living room. You can change the color, brightness, and angle of the lights in the room. 

January 14, 2015 at 9:54 PM
Created by amlo
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January 14, 2015 at 10:00 PM
Created by amlo
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Cushioned Table- A table that can alternate from a cushioned surface to a hard surface.

Microwave in Furniture- Ready to cook quick meals

Storage in Furniture- For when sticking it in a closet doesn't work anymore

Interactive table- A table connected to all electronics and capable of displaying things from all screens for sharing.

January 14, 2015 at 10:51 PM
Created by mchoun95
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Power strips or extension cords disguised as wall or ceiling decorations:

Sometimes in a living room, there are areas with no outlets. People could route wires and surge protectors on the ground to those areas, but then they become hazardous (people can trip). To prevent this, these cords would allow the extra outlets to be wired along the edges of walls and ceilings. If the cords are made to look decorative (e.g. fairy lights, vines), then they add to the color of the space.

Pull-out blankets:

People tend to sleep in larger, shared lounges (like in a dorm). To make them more comfortable blankets can be stored under and attached to couches or tables, and can be drawn out when needed. Later, to reduce clutter, the blankets can be easily shoved back into their storage space.

Smaller, movable whiteboards:

The whiteboards in dorm lounges, for example, are large and against walls, and there are few of them. When a lounge is crowded, it can be difficult to get to a whiteboard, and they may not be usable if they already have writing on them. The movable whiteboards would be anchored to some surface (underside of a table, wall, side of a couch) and could be pulled away for use. This allows them to be used by people in any area of a lounge.

January 15, 2015 at 3:54 AM
Created by shruthin
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1 of 3 composite characters we created to better understand living room users.

January 15, 2015 at 10:09 AM
Created by mchoun95
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January 15, 2015 at 10:10 AM
Created by amlo
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January 15, 2015 at 10:14 AM
Created by amlo
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The cushioned table is the future of furniture. It is a hybrid seat and work table.

The table itself is made of a cushioned base with two flat tabletop platforms which can slide along the edges of the table to conform to whatever cushion table pattern the user wants.

January 15, 2015 at 10:55 PM
Created by mchoun95
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The Item Finder is a device that allows the user to "tag" certain items that they feel they misplace often (e.g. TV remote, phone). Those items can later be found easily if lost.

This device consists of one sender and multiple receivers. Each receiver has a unique ID and responds uniquely if called by the sender. These receivers can be stuck to or inserted inside any object. Once a receivers is attached to an item, the sender can trigger a call for that particular receiver.

There are multiple ways that the receiver could respond: we will choose one as we continue to brainstorm and prototype. The receiver could respond by giving off an auditory signal when triggered, thus allowing the user to follow the sound to find the item. Alternatively, the receiver could respond with its distance and direction from the sender, and the user can use the sender as a homing device to find the item. Lastly, the receiver can respond with its GPS location, and the sender would have a display with which it could place the location of the receiver on a map.

January 16, 2015 at 1:58 AM
Created by shruthin
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Moving Lights Idea 1:

In this design, the light swivels in the ceiling. Each light can move in a different direction independently of one another. Users could also customize the brightness and change the colors of the lights. This system would be controlled by a remote.

Moving Lights Idea 2:

In this design, there are tracks on the ceiling enabling the lights to slide into different positions (again, controlled by a remote). This way, several users can customize the lighting to their needs.

Moving Lights Idea 3:

This iteration is similar to design 2. However, the lights have joints that enable them to move more and be more customizable. A remote would control the sliding on the ceiling, but the light can also be pulled into different positions. 

January 16, 2015 at 9:32 AM
Created by amlo
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Used starman to show a possible day spent with a cushioned table.

January 19, 2015 at 11:42 PM
Created by mchoun95
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January 20, 2015 at 3:48 AM
Created by shruthin
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omg the characters are adorable
almost 2 years ago

January 20, 2015 at 9:31 AM
Created by amlo
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I like the storyboard! One question: what are the blue marks above the bed? If they're shadows, I'd suggest using a uniform, graphite fill to make it more understandable!
almost 2 years ago

January 20, 2015 at 11:31 AM
Created by mchoun95
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January 20, 2015 at 8:01 PM
Created by mchoun95
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The item finder is a remote app that sends bluetooth signals to receivers to make that object sound off. This allows the user to locate missing objects with sound.

January 21, 2015 at 10:59 PM
Created by amlo
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January 21, 2015 at 10:59 PM
Created by amlo
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January 23, 2015 at 10:51 AM
Created by mchoun95 and amlo
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try editing the picture so it's in the correct orientation before you upload!
almost 2 years ago

In order to make our first works-like prototype, we decided to show that we could establish a Bluetooth connection between a receiver device and a laptop (our sender device). Then, with that connection, we could tell the receiver to perform a simple action: in this case, we chose to tell it to turn on and off an LED.

Materials required:
BlueSMiRF Silver (2) - https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12577
Arduino Uno + USB cables (2)
Jumper Wires
LEDs (2)
220-ohm resistors (2)

The Fritzing diagram for one of our receiver circuits is included in this section. We made two receiver circuits to show that we could connect multiple receivers to one laptop.

January 23, 2015 at 12:15 PM
Created by mchoun95 and shruthin
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January 25, 2015 at 10:22 AM
Created by amlo
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Do you have any photographs on the 3D printed case that you can add here?
almost 2 years ago

Note: The name Pinpoint is subject to change

January 25, 2015 at 4:38 PM
Created by amlo
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Uses bluetooth chips as receivers to actuate LED's wirelessly. Using processing generated UI.

Processing code:


January 25, 2015 at 7:43 PM
Created by mchoun95
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What's left to be implemented:

  • consolidating the circuitry
    • switch the Arduino Uno out for the Arduino Pro Mini
    • power the SMiRF and the Mini with a LiPo battery (instead of by USB)
  • adding in the speakers
    • think about what tone we want the speakers to play when the receiver is called
    • analyze the acoustics we get when the speakers are inside the receiver box
    • change the code to account for the speakers
  • redesign the box
    • look at different sizes
    • figure out what the box will look like (colors, material)
    • find the best fit for the circuitry inside the box
    • figure out where the speaker will go

Parts that need to be obtained:

  • n/a (we have the Mini, the LiPo and the speakers)

Project Timeline:

  • Tuesday (1/27)
    • get all electronics done: consolidate the circuit, attach the speakers
    • start making fast prototypes for design of box
    • start working on code: implement simple Arduino code to power the speakers
  • Wednesday (1/28)
    • does it fit inside the box? figure out what the ideal fit/shape is
    • play with different materials for acoustics
    • decide what the speakers will sound like (music? alarm?)
    • create user testing plan
    • work on the UI for the sender
  • Thursday (1/29)
    • user test!
    • make modifications based on user feedback
    • practice presenting
  • Friday (1/30)
    • make final adjustments

Where and when will user tests happen?

  • where: dorm lounges, PDL
  • when: late Wednesday and all of Thursday

January 26, 2015 at 12:14 PM
Created by shruthin
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Good breakdown of your schedule for the week. Do you plan on 3D printing new cases? If so, please talk to me or a TA at the end of class Wednesday - we plan to send jobs to the printer at the end of class on Wednesday or early lab.
almost 2 years ago

Once our receivers were built, we had to focus on connecting them to a laptop that would act as a sender. In order to set up the initial connection, we followed the BlueSMiRF tutorial: 


When the BlueSMiRF is on, it can be found by any laptop with Bluetooth capabilities. Then, the laptop can pair with the BlueSMiRF. The laptop reserves a COM port for that specific BlueSMiRF, so whenever communications with that COM are opened on the laptop, a data connection will be made between the laptop and the BlueSMiRF.

After we paired our receivers with a laptop and figured out which COMs were in use, we were able to create a Processing file that opened those specific COM ports and was able to turn on and off the LED of each receiver.

January 27, 2015 at 1:47 PM
Created by shruthin
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January 27, 2015 at 5:57 PM
Created by amlo
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This was the first case we made. It was constructed to be compact and fit the components in the smallest case possible. After getting feedback, we realized that the shape of this box was not ideal for putting on key rings or wallets.

January 28, 2015 at 6:04 PM
Created by amlo
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This looks awesome! Have you guys experimented with different forms of connection / adhesion?
almost 2 years ago

This new design was made to look like a business card. We wanted it thinner so it would be less awkward on keyrings and in wallets. The box is laser cut .185" acrylic with thin plastic bottom and .135" acrylic top (that had been hollowed out to an extent. 

There were several iterations of this design. Intially the case was 3.5 by 2 inches without the cut for the micro-usb (and key ring). After some laser cutting and putting pieces together, we realized that the case would have to be 3.75" by 2" and have a slit for the micro-usb and a hole for the key ring. 

January 29, 2015 at 10:14 AM
Created by amlo
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We had a lot of components in our previous receiver design that needed to be changed:

  • Arduino Uno - used to provide code for the BlueSMiRF to work off of. 
    • replace with Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328, 5V/16MHz) for a smaller, more portable board
  • LED - used as an indicator of position for the receiver
    • replace with Piezo speaker to create an auditory signal
  • Wall charger/USB battery to power the Arduino
    • replace with LiPo battery + charging port for a smaller, more portable, and rechargable power source
  • Long wires
    • replace with shorter wires to make entire device more compact

January 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM
Created by shruthin
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January 30, 2015 at 12:08 AM
Created by mchoun95
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January 30, 2015 at 10:28 AM
Created by amlo
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This was the intended UI for the item finder. The red button indicates that the receiver was not detected. The sound change button no longer was viable because our bluetooth chip began to malfunction. The issue was that the buttons sent chars to the board but the board wasn't interpreting the chars correctly. This lead us to edit the code in a way that made the sound change button non functional.

January 30, 2015 at 10:44 AM
Created by mchoun95
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January 30, 2015 at 11:29 AM
Created by amlo
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In the future, there are several things we would change/add to our product, Pinpoint. 

Improvements to Pinpoint Reciever

  • An LED as well as a speaker
  • LEDs that show if the reciever is charging and if the bluetooth is working
  • A thinner case
  • A flatter speaker that doesn't protrude as much

Improvements to Pinpoint App

  • A settings page that includes customization of item names
  • A battery life page that will tell you if your reciever needs charge. 
  • Different sounds for different recievers

January 30, 2015 at 11:40 AM
Created by amlo
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January 30, 2015 at 11:42 AM
Created by amlo
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January 30, 2015 at 3:01 PM
Created by amlo
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January 30, 2015 at 9:39 PM
Created by shruthin
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