Object Tracker and Updater

Object Tracker and Updater © Apache-2.0

Use Amazon Alexa Devices and Sensors to find where objects are in home, or your office.

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Components and supplies

Echo
Amazon Alexa Amazon Echo
×1
Abx00004 iso both
Arduino MKR1000
×1
A000066 iso both
Arduino UNO & Genuino UNO
×1
Door Open Sensor
A hall sensor or a Reed Switch that can detect when a door is opened
×1

Apps and online services

About this project

A ton of inanimate objects are part of our life, and we add them day after day. We spend inordinate amount of time searching for these in times of need.

These inanimate objects can be categorized by frequency of use as follows

1) Uses on a daily basis

Glasses, keys, phones, cables, chargers, laptops, wallets, purses, food items, diapers, medicine vials are some of them.

2) Used on a weekly basis

Garden Mats, Board Games, Books for example

3) Used Every Month

Sanitary Napkins for example

4)Used in 6 Months or more

Umbrellas, Jackets, Winter Wear, Printed Photo Albums, Special Weather Boots

5) Emergency Use

Torch, Fire Extinguishers, Swiss Knives

Currently, most people use the following methods to track items and acquire them

1) Create a Hierarchy in storage areas, and then memorize the location of the item.

Pros: Allows the user to formulate standard method of storage, and also organisation of items of use

Cons: Since its is memorized, not everyone can access the information, and requires multiple instructions to be conveyed to a third person who wishes to search the item. ( For example, lending a friend your car, but he needs the car keys kept at home). Also, the hierarchy may not be obvious to someone other than you.

2) Write down the location of each item in a ledger, online or offline.

Pros: Great way to share the location of every item. Anyone can focus on what they wish to find and find it.

Cons: The ledger can get lost or deleted or corrupted.

3) Tell someone to remember it.

So, how can we better track items kept at our homes and offices?

  • Step 1

Organize and communicate

Tell Alexa where you are keeping it, and it will update a google sheet with the name of the item, its quantity, its location and when it was kept there.

Possible Utterances:

Alexa, I have kept 10 pairs of socks in Cupboard Drawer

Alexa, I have kept the book "The Design of Everyday Things" on the bookshelf

Alexa, 20 Diapers have been kept in kids drawer today

Alexa, The purple umbrella is kept in the basement.

  • Step 2

Find the Item

Ask Alexa where the item is

Possible Utterances and Answers

Alexa, I cant find my socks, where have I kept them?

Answer: Cupboard Drawer

Alexa, Where is my purple umbrella?

Answer: In the basement.

Alexa, Tell me where my books are?

Answer: "The Design of Everyday Things" is on the bookshelf.

Update the status of the item with Alexa, when taken.

Tell Alexa you have taken the item, so it knows its no longer at its place

Alexa, I have taken the Umbrella from the Basement

Alexa, I have taken the book from the Bookshelf

Alexa, I used a pair of socks from the Cupboard drawer.

What if you forget to tell Alexa?

The locations where you wish to keep your items can have smart sensor on cupboard drawers, doors , which can be detected by Alexa, and it can ask if you are taking something out from the cupboard, or putting something in. This way, it reminds you to keep the online ledger updated. Its upto the users choice to add or remove items from the ledger.

Alexa can either be configured to suggest by voice, or the device that detects the door status can trigger a visible light. The light signifies that you have to update the online ledger by letting Alexa know.

Some of these devices can be made smarter, and the act of keeping them in a specific location, automatically tells Alexa where it is, so the user may not need interact.

Additionally, you can have simple barcode scanners or NFC readers that allow you to scan in and scan out items, so others in the home can also access this information.

Further use

The solution can help manage complex inventory in organisations, without the friction and multiple steps of keeping inventory updated.

Schematics

Door Sensor with Reed Switch and LED
Detect when a Door is Opened or Closed
F2vx9mpi74nch35 medium iezwand23f

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