Background: The advent of portable personal electronics in society has encouraged isolation and antisocial behavior. For instance, iPods allow people to tune out their surroundings and isolate themselves from others. In response, some schools have banned use of iPods. Cell phones, in the same manner, allow people to escape their local social environment. Currently, there is a lack of mobile personal electronic devices which encourage social behavior. Systems which would allow people to find others with the same interests are very popular in the form of classifieds, date/friend matching websites and phone services.
We propose the Buddy Bug to fill the gap between mobile personal electronics and friend/date matching services. To accomplish this, the Buddy Bug will allow people to find others with similar interests while they are at a bar, class, lounge or any other place where people gather. Prior knowledge of similar interests will allow users to start a conversation and interact. In addition, if users wish to continue their interaction, they will be able to exchange contact information via the Buddy Bug, overcoming the problem of misplacement and disorganization of contact information. The Buddy Bug will therefore bring the usefulness of friend/date matching services to people while they are moving about their daily lives.
Deliverables: There are deliverables listed below
Principle of Operation: The Buddy Bug will be programmed by users at their home PC. Using PC software, they will download their set of predefined interest groups, a personal URL, and a list of friend's bugs. When going out in to a public setting, the user will wear the Buddy Bug externally. The Buddy Bug will periodically transmit a beacon (including a unique ID). When Buddy Bugs receive each other's beacons, they exchange their interest group list. The Bugs then dynamically select colors to correspond to their common interests, and display up to 3 of these simultaneously (labeled below on an LCD). In the case where several are proximate, a Bug will display the groups which the most other Bugs have.
The user interface will consist of a number of LEDs which are able to display multiple colors. There will also be a graphical display able to display information to the user by means of text and/or pictures. There will be a simple button interface to allow some control of the unit by means of navigating menus.
The input to the unit from other units will be by means of wireless data transmission, or by serial data transfer through contacts on the exterior of the bug. These contacts will also be used for synchronization and data upload from the user's PC. Buttons on the unit will allow the user to control the unit and/or change settings.
The unit will broadcast data by means of wireless RF transmissions. The RF transmission will be receivable by another Buddy Bug that is within a 40m radius (indoors). External contacts will serve as a serial data line out. The device will output data to the user in the form of LEDs, character/graphical display, and a vibration motor. The overall output will work as follows:
Owner's Manual Draft:
Acceptance Tests: The Bugs will be tested in several indoor locations to prove that they successfully communicate and match group patterns, varying the following parameters:
Additionally, the Bugs will be tested to confirm that the PC software successfully downloads programming information, and that two Bugs successfully swap identification.
Production Cost: The costs of parts will be less than $30.
Dispute Resolution Mechanism: All disputes shall be settled by binding arbitration. The costs of the arbitration shall be borne by the party losing the arbitration decision.
Updated on: 01.02.2006 22:24
|Statement of the Problem|
|System Block Diagram|
|Draft System Specification|
|Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Presentation Slides|
|Mid-course Design Review (MDR) Specification|
|College of Engineering|