Web App hosted on a Raspberry Pi for my grandmother
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Application was a success, code will not be posted to github to protect private information.

LoveLinda

Web App hosted on a Raspberry Pi for my grandmother

Grandma shows love with gifts of joy and warmth. She swaddled me as a babe and later held my hand as we skipped through puddles in bright, yellow boots. For how much I remember, I feel heart-rending pain for how little she recalls. I leave our visits feeling helpless, seeing her shrink to a fraction of the person she was. The normal is punctuated by these senior moments, the brain skipping a beat or continuing as if we hadn’t just talked about the topic. What a long goodbye.

But we will say many more hello’s before our ultimate hug and farewell. I want to support my grandmother Linda. Building not only an application, but a social network around her will provide the most authentic experience.

From Linda’s perspective, I will develop a device that gives her two names a day, with profile photos and a phone number so she can simply drop in on friends and reconnect. A web-feed of conversation pieces and a recipe of the day will be featured. Revisiting with friends and family makes for a less-lonely experience. My challenge will be going through her yellowed, dog-eared Rolodex and seeking through family albums. I hope to collect approximately 30 people who will embrace her. Offering two random individuals a day — and ensuring no recalls — will bring 14 unique possibilities per week. In this way, she can dial anyone on her “real” phone that is hard-wired to the wall-jack.

Tech Specs

Getting into the details, this project will be part code, involving a micro-controller and perhaps a web-server. A Raspberry Pi connected to a monitor gives the required content. I thought of hooking this application in with a touch-screen module, a VOIP application like Skype or building out an Asterisk server. But these hacks would be more of a second iteration. In the past, she has failed with technology — the more forms of input, the less approachable the device. Building in redundancy so that if the device is unplugged by her roaming cat, the application will restart when plugged back in. I will design a modular web app with lots of color and attractive interface to my grandmother, offering the content she needs.