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A Crowd-Sourced Mechanism To Optimize Garbage Pickup In Public Areas Using Bluetooth 4 And BLE Enabled Devices Like The iPhone

samrat saha (Laughlin Constable)
Location: Fire House

This idea revolves around the integration of a proximity sensor, a BLE Module (BLE 112A from BlueGiga) and a custom iPhone Application.

The idea is to deploy these sensors into garbage cans that are distributed in a geographical area that sees high pedestrian traffic. The sensor provides a rough estimate of the fill level of the garbage can and communicates that to the BLE 112 Module. This module in turn broadcasts services that a custom application deployed on an BLE capable iPhone or BLE capable Android device (a custom app would need to be developed for that as well).

The Application will hopefully be downloaded by people who frequent the area. As a person with the application walks by the smart garbage can it will collect the data(fill level of the can as determined by the sensor) from the BLE 112 module and will in turn transmit it to a cloud hosted service that can gather this data and perform optimization routines on this data.

The optimization routines (not in scope) could be anything from figuring out which cans are full, how often they are filled and which cans are seldom used (allowing for redeployment in a more heavily used area). This could potentially allow for optimized pickup/empty schedules, helping reduce fuel and man power costs (assuming the underlying usage data supports this).

This would be a cost optimization for the company that manages the garbage cans as well as a benefit to people who frequent the area (reduced noise/air pollution).

Though this is a bit of a tongue in cheek demonstration, the idea can be leveraged into a host of situations like Vending Machines (stocking schedules) where people who use the machines (say college campus) have the app and the machine can relay current stock levels to cloud hosted services leading to better services and cost savings to the service provider. Users can be incentivized through the App (maybe coupons) to download the app in the first place.

A further benefit to this approach is that it allows a mechanism for sensors to communicate with Cloud Based services without the need for a cellular connection (other mechanisms like WiFi do exist, but they have their own added issues like increased hardware costs and availability of an open WiFi network and setup) with the added subscription costs.

I will be demoing a mocked solution to illustrate this with a plastic garbage can, a moving lid (to simulate garbage level), an iOS Application(on an iPad Mini) and a basic Website to show the collation of data. This will not require any special equipment, but a WiFi connection for my iPad would be most welcome.

Photo of samrat saha

samrat saha

Laughlin Constable

At the moment I am working as a consultant at DCI Marketing, Milwaukee, USA. My education was in Geological Sciences, however I moved into IT quite early on and freelanced for a number of years developing PHP+MySQl backed Flash Sites. Circumstances and a need for a more stable work pipeline resulted in my joining DCI Marketing as an IT consultant in 2010. I am still working for them as a consultant which gives me the flexibility and stability that I need at the moment. I have decided to make this more of a free form biography focusing on my current projects at DCI as I think it to be the most relevant, in the context of proposing an idea which I would like to present at your inaugural Solid 2014 conference.

iPad security Device: This is a custom security device under development at DCI Marketing. The main idea has been submitted for patent protection, with Sam as one of the four authors. I developed the firmware for a Bluetooth 4 Module as well as the communication library that is being used by the app to allow itself to be secured to a base station. This is under active development and is going to be a featured product offering from DCI Marketing.
United States 61831343 (Provisional Patent Application # )

Jambox: This is a multi level solution that has been developed for Jambox. The solution is centered around an Android(4.1>) tablet that is used to play media. The application serves to channel audio output can be directed to specific Jamboxes. I developed a custom launcher that replaces the default home application on the Android tablet. This custom launcher automatically launches the target application as well as provides lock down functionality to prevent a malicious user from breaking out of the application. This has been deployed to >600 Best Buy’s nationwide. I was also invlved in the engineering of a custom hardware solution to allow for high current charging issues and USB charge limitations(500mA). The central idea behind this solution is being submitted for Patent Protection in the US.

Pepsi: I was instrumental in the development of the first version of Pepsi’s Social Vending Initiative at DCI. The concept was demonstrated nationwide by Pepsi, including at the SXSW festival. It was also demonstrated outside the US, most notably in the UAE. The concept revolved around a 42" touchscreen mounted onto a Vending Machine tat used an Adobe AIR based application for the user interface. This application used a custom .NET backing layer to communicate with a PIC 24 MicroController that allowed it to vend user selections. Additionally it incorporated WCF based services that allowed users to send a gift (drink) to their friends using SMS. The application allowed the user to record personalized video messages to their friends, I used a RED 5 based solution to allow for the recording of the videos.

Subaru: I architected a kiosk solution for Subaru – at DCI – that allows tablets (iPads) at dealerships to upload images of new owners and their messages to a WCF and Entity Framework based backend solution which is used to construct a owner gallery. The application uses a range of feeds from multiple sources to present up to date information about accessories and special offers from Subaru. The application is localized on a region and per-dealership basis. The application includes a rich media- LiveStream was the provider – delivery to support video presentations. This was recently used in the launch of the new WRX where all the Kiosks automatically switched to a Live Video Feed for the launch of Subaru’s new car. The installed base is around 650 dealers nationwide.

In addition to the above I have worked on a variety of Kiosk and Enterprise level Mobile Applications while at DCI for clients that include Intel, Nissan, Harley Davidson, Maybelline, Scion.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further details or clarifications.