Getting Started

A project log for Project "NAGBox"

An easy way to request phone calls from friends and loved ones!

Brandon HartBrandon Hart 11/25/2015 at 16:030 Comments

Step 1 in any project is coming up with the idea/concept, right? DONE!

Step 2 is planning out the build. That's where I'm at now. It needs to be super simple, as this will be used by my mother, sister, and brother. None of them are technically adept (no offense to any of them). So things like jog wheels, options, multiple steps, or even screens should be avoided, if possible. It needs to have 1 step--Push The Button. Unfortunately, that will limit the expandability in the future. If I've only got 3 hardware buttons on each device, then I don't have the option to add another person into the NagBox loop sometime in the future. Oh well, dedicated hardware buttons is what I'm going with.

I considered going with a WiFi-connected solution, but I feel like that might just be asking for trouble. First, I'd have to know what WiFi networks exist in each person's house so I can pre-configure the devices to connect once they arrive at that person's house (assuming they even have WiFi available, and know what the password is). Then, the device would be responsible for detecting and successfully joining the WiFi network when it gets there. If it doesn't do that properly, the only thing that can be done is to have them ship it back to me so I can tweak it and try again. Plus, if they do anything with their WiFi network in the future (get a new router, etc.) then the NagBox devices likely won't work anymore. The answer? Get these connected in such a way that they are pre-configured and working before they even get to each person's house. The only good way to do that is with cellular. And using a NimbeLink Skywire modem, I can avoid carrier certifications and carrier contracts for their own branded USB modems.

So that's my plan. 4 total devices, each pre-configured to work on Verizon's cellular network and send an SMS message to one of the other 3 people when one of the dedicated buttons is pushed.

Step 3 is starting the build! That's next.