Summary

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.

Challenge

The challenge was "simply" to create a piece of wearable technology. We decided to tackle the fashion monolith: PURSES.

Our approach:

  1. Identify problems that could be solved with wearable tech
  2. Rethink existing garments and how they could include technology
  3. Create a product that could withstand daily life
  4. Thoughtfully incorporate electronics
Role

Project Lead / React Native Developer

Timeline

September - December 2020 (10 weeks)

Team

Danielle Lister | Product and User Experience Designer

Jezebel Torres | Arduino Developer & Technologist

Poppy Pan | Material and Textile Research

Chaoran Ge | Technical Research and Prototyping

Anju | Digital Modelling

Links
No items found.
Documentation
Mobile Development
React Native
Prototyping
Arduino
Research
Collaboration

Solution

User Research

Preliminary user research helped identify some key pain points, and ultimately laid our path forward:

  • Never being able to find items in your purse
  • Feeling vulnerable to theft and assault
  • Purse interiors not being designed with standard items in mind (ie. smartphone, AirPods, lip gloss, wallet)
  • Missing notifications and calls when your phone is inside your purse

Features

Designed with the user in mind from pockets to straps. Everything aspect is up to spec.

Smart Fashion

Designed with the user in mind from pockets to straps. Everything aspect is up to spec.
Built in React Native, this app is avaiable on all devices (Android and iOS).

Multi-Platform

Built in React Native, this app is avaiable on all devices (Android and iOS).
With just the push of a button, user's can set off their bag’s internal alarm to alert passersby of their distress.

Distress Alarm

With just the push of a button, user's can set off their bag’s internal alarm to alert passersby of their distress.
Triggered by the alarm, users can enable an automatic SMS to send to your emergency contacts. The message is customizable.

Emergency SMS

Triggered by the alarm, users can enable an automatic SMS to send to your emergency contacts. The message is customizable.
Through the logo mark on the bag’s exterior, lights will flash in response to incoming phone calls, texts, or iCal alerts.

Notifications

Through the logo mark on the bag’s exterior, lights will flash in response to incoming phone calls, texts, or iCal alerts.
Automatic, interior LED lighting allows you to view the contents of your purse without struggle, and is fully customizable through the Aleo App.

Interior Lighting

Automatic, interior LED lighting allows you to view the contents of your purse without struggle, and is fully customizable through the Aleo App.
Paper prototype

Prototyping

After examining our research data, we narrowed down some design factors:

  • Removable Cosmetic Pouch (must be able fit the size of tampon and lipstick)
  • Phone pocket (to standard phone size currently)
  • Key hook
  • Wireless earbud pouch
  • Wallet (clutch size)
  • Mini-tote size
  • Adjustable handles and/or straps

Following this, the Fashion Team drafted exterior and interior purse dimensions for paper prototyping.


No items found.

Electrical Prototyping

Environment

  • Arduino IDE 1.8.13
  • React Native
  • Socket.io
  • NodeJS

Hardware

  • Arduino Uno
  • Lilypad Button Board
  • Lilypad Reed Switch
  • Skinny Neopixel LED Strip
  • 0.5W 8ohm Speaker

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.

Mobile App

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.

App <-> Arduino

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.

Results

Up Next

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:

  • Our team was requested to present the project to the Faculty of Business’ department heads and Senior Dean (presentation document)
  • Plans for a fabric prototype of the purse are underway and in the hands of our capable Fashion Team
  • A proposal is being put forth for Aleo by the Fashion Management Program’s program coordinator for project enterprise funding through the Faculty of Business on our behalf
  • An article was written about Aleo in the Humber campus newsletter

Reflections

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.

Like what you see?

Hire me!

Conact now