Aleo is a smart purse and companion mobile app created using React Native, and Arduino.
This project was a multi-faceted endeavor spanning multiple timezones, disciplines, and two faculties at Humber College. Three students from each faculty department – Fashion Management, and Web Design and Interactive Media – were involved.
The challenge was "simply" to create a piece of wearable technology. We decided to tackle the fashion monolith: PURSES.
Preliminary user research helped identify some key pain points, and ultimately laid our path forward:
After examining our research data, we narrowed down some design factors:
Following this, the Fashion Team drafted exterior and interior purse dimensions for paper prototyping.
3D Modelling and Fabrication
The bulk of our hardware sits inside a sleeve at the bottom of the purse inside a protective case, which was designed in Tinkercard.
The case features outlets for the power cable, sensor wires, heat ventilation, and a caddy to hold the speaker in place.
With the purse comes a companion mobile app, the primary user interface. Through the app, users can customize the lighting, alarms, notifications, and emergency SMS settings.
The Aleo app was built with React Native and Expo, and utilizes Firebase, Socket.io, and NodeJS.
In order to achieve cross-environment communication from app to Arduino, we employed Socket.io and NodeJS. This ensured data could flow smoothly from sensor to phone.
Since our “official” collaboration came to a close at the end of 2020, Aleo has garnered quite a bit of attention, and has some big plans:
Aleo was a massive undertaking, and brought with it so many lessons about both hard and soft skills. While there are things I would now do differently, I believe Aleo was a huge success and something to be proud of.
My team and I were able to create a substantial electrical, mobile, and physical prototype while working remotely, across multiple time zones, and with three people we had never met before from a different industry. We all grew and learnt so much about ourselves and our disciplines.
I gained a deeper understanding about how I function in group-work, my leadership style and growth edges, how to better share knowledge, patience, task delegation, and project scope management. Aleo not only pushed my skills as a leader and teammate, but as a developer as well. This was the largest project I had ever developed at the time, and was exposed to functionalities and features I had never programmed before. I have really noticed the difference as I’ve dug into new projects.