As described earlier a bit my idea is to have a small module you connect to your existing blinds. The module connects to your wifi and can take for example parse your alarm clock on your mobile.
I met up with an old friend who’s studying in Linköping to get some feedback on my idea. He has released several apps on the Play Store that have given him a fair income in parallell with his studies. I haven’t had any contact with him for pretty long but when I heard about his interest in apps I thought this would be a great opportunity to hang out. The most useful feedback from him was that I should sketch the logic and start coding right away, according to his experience the code gets much better if you code in intervals and let the code lie on the shelf for a while to ripe (and your brain to come up with better solutions). This seems reasonabe, have had similar experiences in other tasks ( engine problems, electrical system faults etc.) so I will bear this in mind.
I have loosely thought about this idea for maybe a year, and brought it up sometimes. My girlfriend told me she had spoken about it to her girlfriends and they said that they would gladly buy it if it was available. So I met with two of her friends, two students at Karolinska Institutet. Their feedback consisted mostly of expected features and ease of use. They pressed the issue with people that don’t like complicated installations and configurations. The idea is that the screw holes and dimensions should be the same, you should be able to install the module by using the existing screws and holes and then just plugging in the 12V-adapter. I have since my meeting with them thought a bit more about configuration, how to make it as easy as possible? I have looked a lot at how Google have made the configuration for their popular Chromecast, where you have an app that guides you through every step.
I also got feedback from a friend working at Ericssons R&D department. The most valuable feedback I got from him was something I have earlier thought of but avoided! All the regulations when developing and selling an electrical product. You have to meet ROHS and CE requirements, affiliate with different envinronment and recycling organizations ( EE-registry, EL-kretsen, REPA). That is a lot of research needed if someone plan on doing a venture all by himself! Quite overwhelming..
Had heard from a Polish friend that attended a music festival that there were people promoting something ”really weird”, a bag for cigarette butts. Asked him if he had some left and well… he had!
The idea of the bag is to put the cigarette butt inte the small orange bag, peel of the release paper which you also put into the bag and then seal it. You can now safely put the bag in your pocket and throw it into a bin, when it’s nearby.
On their fundedbyme-site (https://www.fundedbyme.com/en/campaign/4324/dondobbin) they state the want to change the way people discard their cigarettes, that usually end up littering the streets. It is also supposed to be perfect for the ”ashtray-less situations”.
I do not smoke myself but I took it to a friend who smokes and introduced this little wonder. The size seems right to fit in a cigarette-pack but I doubt you will fit as many bags as there are cigarettes. I tried to find anything about how to store the small bags but to no avail. Another concern is that you have to smoke the cigarette for a while before it will fit. When the cigarette was the right length it was easy to insert. While sealing the bag there came some smoke at the beginning but it cleared pretty quick. The idea might be that you should put out the cigarette against the lid before putting it in, thus avoiding the smoke, but could not find that info either.
I do not really like the idea of producing as many small bags as there are cigarettes much, but I do understand the need for something to put your used cigarettes in when there is no bin nearby. I would prefer to increase the amount of bins with those built in ashtrays where you can put out the smoke before throwing it in, but these little bags might be a good complement.
These little bags might even be perfect for used chewing gum!?
An even better scenario for them would maybe be if more countries introduced anti-littering laws? Who knows, maybe even Big Tobacco will be forced to supply these with the packs? This _might_ be a rocket! 😉
All in all I do not think the idea by itself is a perfect problem-solver, but together with other measures there might be light! I’m going to follow them with interest!
Some weeks ago we went to a open house at Stockholms Makerspace. For those of you not aware of these communities, a makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources, knowledge, work on projects, network and build. The concept emerges from the technology-driven ”maker culture” a.k.a. hackerspace.
We met with Andreas who gave us a tour. They have their pretty large lab (283m2) at Wallingatan 12, so it’s situated very central. They have built up a pretty impressive collection of tools, a 40W lasercutter, 3D-printer, CNC-router, CNC-lathe, some sewing machines and an assortment of smaller powertools. Perfect for people living in the city in apartments in need of a “garage” for tinkering and using loud machines!
While in there I chatted up Vincent who was debugging his weather station, I briefly presented my idea and got valuable feedback.
My idea was a WIFI-enabled blinds motor/mount, where you exchange one of your existing blind mounts with my unit. The unit comes with adapters to fit most systems on the market (“Tupplur” from IKEA is my main target). The unit will be able to parse your alarm clock in your phone to automatically pull it up in the morning or connect to the IFTTT portal (https://ifttt.com/wtf)
He gave me feedback about my choice of communication. Commercial wireless home automation systems used today are mostly using Zigbee, Nexa or Z-wave. He thought I should look into compability with those systems that are widely used. I have thought about that and think that the learning/interest curve is quite steep for the cheap systems and too expensive for the easier ones for most people. I am trying to use the WIFI-router most people have in their homes, thus lowering the entry-barrier and hopefully gaining more interest. Although he has a very important point and I am going to research alternative wireless implementations for future reference.
If you become a member, Stockholm Makerspace is available 24/7 for only 300SEK per month. You are then free to use the equipment (after a small introduction) for our own projects.
You should all go and check out Stockholm Makerspace, it should be a great place for you with a little more technical idea!