"Text me when you're heading home." We've all heard it, and we've all forgotten to do it. Sometimes, even when we do remember to text, the unexpected happens. We get stuck in traffic, get caught up talking to a co-worker while trying to leave the office, or suddenly remember that we should stop to get that one thing we really need at the store. These events can be hard to communicate, and frustrating for family members who are trying to time their activities around your arrival at home.
To make communication easier, I've created the IoT Location Sensing Picture Frame. The concept is simple. Each family member has a photo of themselves in the picture frame. Each photo has a corresponding strip of lights that is controlled by an app that runs in the background of the designated family member's smart phone (yes...each family member having a smart phone is a pre-requisite for this project.). The lights are programmed to display colors in a spectrum ranging from red to green. If the lights for a certain family member are red, it means that they are far away from home. If the lights are green, it means that they are home. If the lights have been orange for a while, but you notice that they are slowly fading to yellow, the family member is traveling closer to home and the lights will continue to fade to green until that family member arrives at home.
Another useful feature of this picture frame is it's ability to communicate when family member's have arrived at specific locations that can be updated on their phones at any time. Let's say you are going out of town and arriving at a specific bus or train station. You can set that location on your phone as far in advance as you like, and the picture frame will change the color of your lights to blue when you arrive. That way when you forget to call mom to tell her that you made it to your destination safely, she won't worry.....but for goodness sake, don't forget to call her! She's your mother!