GSOC 2015 project proposal
Julio Bondia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) student, Spain

BYOP (Bring Your Own POIS).
Project Description

Liquid Galaxy represents the POIS the user determines, as well as tours, etc. The main idea of my proposal is to allow users to deploy their favourite POIS in the Liquid Galaxy through a wireless technology such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

With the collaboration of Google Physical Web project, that has offered us free hardware for testing, I’ll be using an Intel Edison to implement a BLE scanner in order to scan the advertising BLE devices in the area. The users are supposed to bring a Physical Web beacon, which will be continuously advertising a website, where the user favourite POIs will be available.

Once the scanner has found this Physical Web (PW) beacon it will interact with the Liquid Galaxy to make it know there is someone who wants to deploy its POIs, so the Liquid Galaxy will wait for confirmation. I’ll add some hardware to the Edison platform, such as a simple button, to confirm the action (for security reason). A green led will light to know that POIs have been received and a refresh to the user interface is needed.

Once the action is confirmed the POIs will be deployed in the Liquid Galaxy and the user will be able to see them in the screens. That’s why I called the project BYOP.

In order to build the user POIs set, I will develop an Android tool where the user can define its own POIs. This information will be stored in the user Google Drive account and the URL to the uploaded file will be the one the Physical Web beacon will advertise. The POIs set will be stored in the actual standard POIs XML file in a Liquid Galaxy. Next to the app the users will have a manual explaining the process of capturing POIs from Google Earth in large sets.

So when the scanner detects the Physical Web beacon and confirms the action, the system will connect to this URL and will download the POIs stored/selected in it.

Another button will be added for a restoration of the previous POIs after a visit.

Some special questions

The Museum or whatever place that has the Liquid Galaxy, will be promoting this new functionality, pointing to the Play Store URL for downloading the app, that will include embedded the manual.

How they will have a PW beacon?
  • In the very near future the app will act as a beacon, and we’ll implement this functionality on the app.
  • The museum can have some in stock and give or sell away
  • On the info page the museum can link to a PW beacons seller web.

Use Case
  • Previous to a visit to a Liquid Galaxy
    • The teacher will use the app to elaborate his POI set and bring the PW beacon to the visit.
  • At the Liquid Galaxy
    • The teacher will be broadcasting his BLE signal.
    • Edison hardware will receive it, test it’s been well formatted, and light the green led.
    • The museum or the like personnel will have to press the go button, and POIs will be upgraded.
    • A refresh to the LG web page is needed.
    • And voilà, the new POIs appear.
  • After a visit:
    • The museum personnel will restart the previous/default POIs, just touching another button on the Edison board.

Linked Technologies

In order to deploy the present project will be needed to use different kind of technologies and know how they work, it happens because the data parsing is the process in the middle to communicate both platforms. A possible list of technologies needed will be:

  • Intel Edison hardware.

  • Deep knowledge on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

  • Good grasp of Java/Python to implement the BLE scanner, get the POIS from the advertised website and send them to the Liquid Galaxy over SSH/Wifi with the right data format.

  • Regular expressions (regex) to test the right format of the user created POIs.

  • Android for the POIs creation and managing tool.

Values for Liquid Galaxy community

  • Planning visits to a Liquid Galaxy rig. In the installations around the world in museums and aquariums, a little explanation of this tool will offer the possibility to visiting teachers, schools, and others, deploy his own POIs.
  • Have an Android App with a great utility to build community around the LG.
  • Another useful scenario will be a Liquid Galaxy having in stock several beacons with several POIs sets, and uploading them upon the kind of visit or activity.
  • This project will allow some customization focused on the user preferences and needs. The first step is to deploy POIS, but surely more features can be added through this way of communication.