The Speck device's primary technical components consists of a Class 1 Bluetooth module, a simple microcontroller with integrated memory, an small LCD (or OLED screen), LEDs, and a power supply.
We explored a variety of form factors (more information available in the design section).
Several members of our group have previous familiarity of the wireless technologies being proposed for use in Speck. While our initial instincts were to use RFID for the proximal presence detection, further research of transponder/power consumption turned us towards Class 1 Bluetooth.
We were already going to be using Bluetooth for close-range data interchange, and with Class 1 BT's 100m maximum range, this single wireless unit would be able to work for presence as well.
Early on, we explored and dismissed various techniques for directional location. Solutions we came up with proved too complex, which in turn would conflict with our goals for the device.
While we believe our project to have its own key differentiators, locative presence and digital lifestyle integration devices has been and continues to be a very active field. To that end, we've taken a look at (and hopefully have tried to learn what lessons we could from) many related projects.
- Active Badge
- UIUC Intellibadge
- nTag smart tags
- Smart Dust
- UbiComp Proceedings
- DEMO presentations
- MSR SCG research
- Microsoft SPOT