During her Ph.D. research, Xu Lin tries to increase the involvement of the elderly, to improve their quality of time in the care home. A project before, she tested an idea, where 3 imitation bricks with cameras and an internet connection where located over the nicest places in Eindhoven. The images shown on screens in the care home. With a push on the button, the image was printed on a postcard. Of course, the intention is the images relate to the person and for instance, invoke thoughts of their childhood or where they have last lived.
Now, Xu Lin together with master student Xuechen Liu came up with a new idea: people in/from the care home can write postcards from whatever they are thinking of, yet stimulated to share a story from their past. The postcard is "posted" in the designated box, digitalized, OCR'ed, possible GPS coordinates attached and shared in a Tweet and Facebook. And the story with its details shows up on a website, shown on a big screen in the care home so that others can read and they can chat about it. Also in other locations and because of the nature of Tweets, it gathers feedback, which is on its turn fetched, and also shown together with the story.
In the first iteration of this idea, every step was executed manually. With my help, most steps were elaborated into (combined) technical solutions. The "post box" was equipped with a Raspberry Pi with a camera module. Sensors indicated a new entry: wait for the postcard to drop, flashlight ... photo, upload, ready. Now the photo was uploaded it was made visible in a CMS. A new story can be created there and photo's added together with other details of the story. A tweet prepared automatically and send on request with a picture. Now, it has a Tweet ID and checks for new replies regularly. Same for the Facebook story. Details of the story can be added later or changed and will reflect on the Tweet, Facebook post and narrowcasting on the screen.
For the screen, the system looks for the stories to display with images and google maps as the background. A filter was created so that only stories with certain tags are shown in a carousel. While the story text is scrolling past slowly, other fetched social media and attached pictures are shown by in a faster fashion.
RPi2 -> image -> CodeIgniter CMS -> image postcode -> entry details (title, story, date, author, tags, location, etc) -> Tweet / Facebook -> screen (narrowcast) -> conversation (Twitter, Facebook, offline)