[Video Link] Stephanie Vacher, Lisa Ballard, Quentin Muhlert addressed the problem of children and pets suffering from heat stroke after accidentally being left inside hot cars. The trio created a proof-of-concept warning system called TempAssure at at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17.
TempAssure uses a GPS API to detect the external temperature. If the temperature exceeds a set limit, TempAssure turns on a small fan (which represents the car's air conditioning system). The team says additional work on the concept could include tapping into Ford's OpenXC data platform to collect GPS data (to then pull the external temperature and conditions data from the local area), ignition data (on/off), and parking brake data (on/off), to create an environment inside of the car that would prevent the occupants from suffering heatstroke (such as turning on the air conditioning, lowering the windows, or sending a text message to the driver's phone).
"Ideally, we would be able to use far more of the car's existing sensors to alert us of the presence of occupants in the car, including seat sensors, internal/external temperature sensors, CO2 sensors, motion sensors, and the built-in microphone," the team wrote in its report of their hack.
TempAssure won the "Best Design" award and took home a gift basket from out friends at Spikenzielabs.
Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects