CyBear — The Idea (pt 1)

Fun Fact — I build apps for fun and for the fun of others!!

So — I’ve been trying to keep up with this trend of using tech to show my appreciation for people. I made a valentines day scavenger hunt last year, cloud connected picture frames for christmas, and this year Valentines won’t be any different. This works out great because I don’t believe in spending money as the sole quantifier for how much you care for a person (we can chat about this anytime you like, just hmu).

So what do I have planned for this year?

Absolutely nothing. Well, it was absolutely nothing up until yesterday (2/11/17). I went to Walmart to get things for my car, which they ended up not having, and on my way out had to pass by the plethora of Valentine’s Day gifts. I guess they got me because I started thinking — “I should get something for her.” So I did, a cute little bear. I still need to get those ramps for my car btw. Maybe Next time.

The Finesse — Ideation

Now it’s not my style to just give people things, that’s boring to me — gotta make em work for it! So, I’m driving home from Walmart and it hits me! I knew exactly what to do. But, before I can tell you we need to sidetrack a bit.

Small Ears

I recently bought a pair of wireless bluetooth earbuds which i supremely enjoy. I actually originally bought them for her but remembered that she doesn’t like the earbuds because her ears are small. Bad for her, good for me. Instead, I got her a pair of white iPhone headphones (no remote). She enjoys these because they sit in the ear but not in the canal — I think they’re trash but, you know, to each their own.

I still wanted hear to have the experience of the wireless headphones so I bought a relatively cheap pair of wireless headphones, cracked it open, desoldered the speaker drivers, cut the iPhone ones, soldered the iPhone ones to the bluetooth module, and sealed it up. Moral of the story — ladies, get you an engineer. I’m the plug if you’re looking. The headphones are finished and ready for use. Let’s get back to the main story though.

Back Like We Never Left

So, I’m driving home from Walmart and it hits me! I knew exactly what to do. Allow me to introduce my inner dialog:

Make her find the bear. YEA, but how? Hmmm. What if we put a beacon of some kind on the bear and have an app that can do something with the signal strength to the beacon? Yea, then can show different graphics on the screen to reflect the strength — things like: hot, cold, warm, not even close. Oh i like this. Okay, how though? Maybe we can use a bluetooth beacon and hide it inside the bear. Do we have any bluetooth beacons, no. Hmm. Okay, what about all the random bluetooth chips we have in the drawer? All we really need to do is have it on then we can test the signal strength to the hardware address. Yes, but wait — are we really about to make this bear bluetooth just for this? and what if the batteries die, or better yet how do we power the thing since there are no power supplies attached to any of them. DUDE! I GOT IT.

The Plan

We will hide the teddy bear in her dorm somewhere and build a Hot or Cold Game styled app that will display accordingly depending on the signal strength of a bluetooth device; the closer you are to a wireless device the stronger the signal. For the bluetooth device we’ll be using, you guessed it (or not), the wireless headphones we concocted earlier. The plan is to find somewhere near an outlet to hide the bear, tape the headphones to the bear’s ears (cute right), and turn them on. We’ll have the app look solely for the signal from solely the headphones hardware address.

Now that we have the idea, next is to design then build. Keep going with part 2 [ Still editing — check back in a day].

Originally published at on February 16, 2017.