The aim of this project was to invent, prototype, explore and demonstrate applications of sensors and machine to machine communication (The Internet Of Things). To do this we were divided into mixed teams from various universities and disciplines, each bringing our own ideas and concepts. Our team consisted of two designers, two developers and one psychiatrist. As we were all based in different places around the world such as China, Germany, Switzerland and myself in the UK. Because of this we had to use Skype as means of communication and work around the various time zone issue. We were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit Zurich twice for this project, initially for one week to meet our groups and begin idea generation and finally to present our final idea to Swisscom as a team. Overall the experience was very enjoyable and gave me a great insight into how people from different disciplines all come together to create an overall product from beginning to end. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity as one of only ten people from my university.
Our team concept was to create a ski or snowboard-tracking device that would connect to a mobile application using LPN. The tracking device can then track the skis or snowboards location and notify the user if the equipment is taken more than 200m from their mobile device that is with them. If this happens the mobile application will then notify the owner and give them options to sound an alarm on their equipment, flash lights on their equipment or find the local police station to report their skis or snowboard missing.
As a team we conducted a survey taken by 52 participants, this gave us a much better insight into the problem we were designing to solve. From this piece of research we found that over 86 percent of snow sports participants leave their equipment unattended whilst on the slopes and one third of these know of somebody or himself or herself personally have been victim to theft. We also wanted to learn more about our target market and form this survey we found that the 12-21 year old range group was less likely than any other age group to take any precautions when leaving snow sports equipment unattended, with 73% of them not taking any precautions despite 93% leaving equipment unattended at some point during their skiing trips.