Our submission was a combination of individual projects. We focused on the knocking to unlock feature from my individual design and the adaptability of Gautam's custom door opener to existing systems. Above is a 30 second sneak peek I made from a compilation of our projects for the conference application.
My initial prototype video is below.
The problem space:An intuitive system for smart security devices grew around removing the cognitive load and anxiety off of the user. In the studio, security is especially stressful because one is not only responsible for protecting their own possessions, but everyone else's as well as the professor's. Shared spaces have an interesting dichotomy between security and the need for easy fluidity of ownership. With a traditional key based system, students often get locked out, and the risk of compromising security is as easy as losing one key. If just one copy was lost, all keys would then have to be replaced and the lock changed. A smart locking system would be adaptable.
The proposed solution:When a person gets to a door and wants to get in, what do they do? They knock. In our system, the user’s specific knock pattern authenticates their identity, and opens the door for them. The system empowers people’s intuitive actions and responses to affect the world around them in a new way. We leverage IOT, and physical computing to make more technology feel like less. From there, the system of a knock based entrance creates affordances in social interaction for shared spaces wherein ownership fluidity and accessibility needs are balanced with security.
My first iteration was to re-engineer how my tabaret cabinet locked. Process sketches below
I didn't need the key in place at all. I took the cabinet apart, removed the old locking mechanism and replaced it with the servo motor
Below is some early experimentation
First iteration had the motor turning the key from the outside of the tabaret. The motor attached to the key like above would've been hidden under a cover. In this case, I made a unicorn head cover for comic relief (as seen in my sketches above)
Even with a cover, it wasn't a clean, secure solution so I looked into installing the motor inside the cabinet cover
An IFTTT applet was made for rapid testing. Texting #in and #out unlocked and locked the cabinet accordingly. IFTTT was also used later on to trigger servo motor movement according to sound input through one of the LittleBit sensors.
The unfortunate limitation of IFTTT is that nested conditionals aren't feasible and the IOS location API is slow to update and lags behind. The knocking to unlock feature was meant to be available only when the authorized user location is in the immediate area.
The iteration we are preparing for presentation in Japan this spring will be built with piezzo electric contact sensors, and servo motors running on the a Processing built program on a Rasberry PI.Details are available in our paper.
Moving forward, these are some of the major challenges we hope to solve in our working demo design
- How do we account for changes in tempo?
- How will people input patterns?
- If it's through web or mobile app, how does the system get familiar with the unique properties of the material the knocks will occur on?
- How secure would these other platforms be?
- How will multiple password knocks be managed?
- What does it mean to match a knock pattern? In timing, tempo, or proportional relationships between knocks?
- How exactly does the knock have to match the password pattern before it is too much of a hassle to use?
- What are the possible ways the sound waves might be interpreted incorrectly for knock recognition?
- Under what conditions will the "knock" to unlock feature be available to operate and how secure would it be?
- How might each opening contraption be easily customized to unique doors/entrances?
- How will the sensors be calibrated to different material?
- Should the system be adaptabe to existing infrastructures?
- How will it be powered? No one wants more wires, least of all on their doors and cabinets
- How will "ownership fluidity" work with the knock system in a shared public space?
- How might people share the password?
- How will security be maintained when a large group is using the system?
- How might the system create affordances for crowd sourced control be used?
- What are the possible impacts?
Try inputting a rhythm yourself to see how consistent your knocks are!
You'll notice that if you tried a more complicated rhythm with long wait periods between knocks, there was less consistency in timing between each time you input anything.
It is not enough for there to be a threshold for a timing error, so the program recognizes rhythm independent of tempo by focusing of on proportional relationships of the intervals between knocks.
Once the pattern has been entered multiple times, the program exports a JSON file containing the average intervals between knocks, the average ratio of each interval compared to the following interval, and the standard deviation of such ratios.
The algorithms to assess such relationships are under development. Testing of sound input consistency through piezo sensors and door materials has to be done.
New customizeable model is in progress