SmartCube!

There is an app for everything!

But do we really want to use an app to turn on the lights, lower the volume of the radio or change the station?

Our team, having already had experience with some of the smart home features, wanted to create a physical device that is capable of giving you control over your home.

The idea behind SmartCube is pretty easy: You’ve got six sides, each to control a different function. Turn the cube on a different side to change what to control, and then rotate it around its vertical axis in order to affect whatever you are controlling (e.g. rotate right to increase the brightness of your light, rotate left to decrease the brightness).

Our key features in the beginning were:

  • WiFi connectivity (so you don’t need a separate device to connect to the home network)
  • Rotation detection (which side is facing down, is the cube rotating etc.)
  • Sexiness (so you like having and using the device)

Additional features we developed:

  • Touch detection (so the device only activates when touched, not when someone bumps the table)
  • Notification output (using the LEDs to inform about Facebook messages etc.)
  • Docking station (to charge the battery while not using the cube)
  • Docking mode (fading colors and enable notification output)
  • Microphone for clap detection (e.g. for double clap to toggle the light)

 

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Features we didn’t implement (yet?):

  • Wireless charging (with Qi standard)
  • Bluetooth LE/ iBeacon (detect which room you are in -> only control the lights in the current room)
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A look inside: LED on every side, copper foil for touch detection, battery (on the right), all connected to the spark core (in the middle wrapped in blue tape)

 

Initially we also experimented with more LEDs for a better surface illumination, but we decided to reduce the LEDs per side to one due to the high energy consumption and the additional wiring complexity.

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Posted in Hardware Projects.

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