After our great success in the Oracle IoT Developer Challenge (read our previous post to know more about this), we wanted to share how we made the Connected Table.
The idea of the project was to create a work place that could recognize you and set the environment to your needs and preferences. All workplaces have tables, so we selected the table as the central element of the experience, which was thought as a coworking space where we would have several tables, one for each user. We thought also to connect different devices from the space to be accessible and controlled by Lhings. This way we could, for example, know when and how many times a person had a coffee to be able to charge him at the end of the month and free them from the fact of having to pay each time like in a vending machine.
Elements of the “Connected Table”
To showcase the concept of the connected table we connected to it several elements. Two Philips Hue lamps were used, one to provide illumination and the other to act as status light that changed color depending on the user being busy or not, so that other people in the space could know when is a good moment to disturb him. The user interacts with the table using special RFID cards that allowed him, to change the status light, inform the table about his arrival, etc. To this end, a RFID reader was also attached to the table. All these devices were controlled by a Raspberry Pi board, that served also as gateway to Lhings.
We also had a second Raspberry Pi with another RFid Reader to be able to make the coffee. When the reader detects the personal RFID card of the user, a relay turns on the coffee maker and notifies the coworking space that a certain user is preparing a coffee. This way, at the end of the month the coworking space can charge the users for the amount of coffees taken.
Both Raspberry Pi boards were programmed using the Lhings Java Library, what made developing the connectivity features a breeze.
In addition, we developed an App called PlugLhings (availabe in the AppStore and PlayStore) that was used to notify the user about the different events. A JavaFX application was also developed to allow the user to control all the environment from his own laptop.
Finally, all these devices are held together and commanded by Lhings, so that the coworking space has full control of the elements that make it up, monitoring what is happening, who is using the devices and making it more efficient for its users.