Creating a Miniature Meeting Room Display for Office 365 (Arduino)

Creating a tiny, embedded version of our Meeting Room display software for Office 365

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A demo of the final product, running on the 1.5" wide printed-circuit board.

Introduction

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The full-version of our software, Meeting Room 365.

The Hardware

We also have a guide for the Raspberry Pi if you’re interested:

SoC Specifications

  • 64 KiB of instruction RAM, 96 KiB of data RAM.
  • External QSPI flash: up to 16 MiB is supported (512 KiB to 4 MiB typically included)
  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. (WEP or WPA/WPA2 authentication, or open networks)
  • 16 GPIO pins
  • SPI

ESP8266 SoC with 0.91" OLED (16x4 characters)

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Demo Program

Here is the demo program you see when the device is first powered-up.

Board Pinout

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Pinout of a very similar board to the one I purchased (identical design specifications).

Designing the software

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Everything for this project was written using the Arduino IDE.

Allowing the user to configure the device

  1. If the device has a stored configuration, attempt to use that.
  2. If the stored configuration doesn’t work or doesn’t exist, broadcast a new network called “Mini MR365”.
  3. When a user connects to the network, hijack DNS to create a Captive Portal.
  4. Serve a single webpage which can be used to configure the device. Allow the user to store their settings permanently.
  5. Once a connection is established. shut down the network and resume normal operation

Device (Initial state)

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This helps, but real-world use would probably mean additional instructions included in the packaging.

Connecting to the device & Setting it up via Wifi (Finished Product)

Here are a series of screenshots outlining the process to configure the device. This was taken from my iPhone, but working on any device with a wireless connection:

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Connection & Setup via Wifi. First, the user connects to our device via Wifi. Then, they configure the device, and save.

Short Preview of the device Booting up

Display a “Room Available” message

-----------------------------------
Room is available:
-----------------------------------
1234567890123456
----------------
1|ROOM AVAILABLE |
2| |
3|RESERVE VIA |
4|OUTLOOK |
----------------
1234567890123456

Meeting Room Available (Finished product)

Was the device working? How do I know?

With the time displayed, I can simply take a look at my watch or see the time change to feel confident that the system is working.

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This is what the display looks like when a room is available.

Display the current meeting

-----------------------------------
Current / Next Meeting:
-----------------------------------
1234567890123456
----------------
1|MEETING TITLE OR|
2|MEETING NAME.. |
3| |
4|12:00PM-12:00pm |
----------------
1234567890123456

Meeting Room Reserved (Finished product)

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That’s not all! This is an in-progress article. Check back for updates as this project progresses!

Thanks for reading!

Written by

Founder, Meetingroom365.com | The Fastest Way to add a Display to your Office | Startups, Prototyping, Design

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