Control the surroundings with one click

Sep 13, 2022 | 06:02 IST

Control the surroundings with one click

Eight third-year Bachelor of Computer Applications students from St Xavier’s College, Mapusa, worked on a project, ‘Smart Home’, which would allow users to control their home appliances via their phone, including the operation of their garage door

Third-year college students are forced to go through the process of selecting a topic for their annual project, which does not spark students’ interest, but also encourages them to think outside the box and develop their own research. Every year, new ideas from different currents emerge, which teaches students

as well as professors more on the subject.

St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa has many firsts to its credit. The college introduced the BCA (Commerce) in 2005, with a capacity of 40 students. With four full-time teachers, students are eager to learn because their teachers are very accessible. This encourages them to push their limits and learn more about the subject. Students have a wide range of perspectives around the world with jobs such as programmers, software developers, software engineers, web designers, hardware analysts, hardware designers, software quality assurance managers, software designers, graphic designers, etc.

The third-year Bachelor of Computer Application (TYBCA) for 2021-22 batch worked on an interesting project, ‘Smart Home’, under the guidance of their project guide, Worrel D’Souza, Assistant Professor, Department of BCA. The team includes Austin Lobo, Andrea Menezes, Aryesh Asolkar, Carrisha Rodrigues, Glen Dias, Haran De Souza, Marvin D’Souza and Penwyn Tavares.

“’Smart Home‘ is an application for home automation. It allows users to control home appliances wirelessly via WiFi. A unique application designed to work with specific built-in Wi-Fi hardware cards, Raspbery Pi. It has an easy to use interface which is designed to work on most Android phones. It has a set of predefined parts to categorize switch buttons that are specifically assigned to lights/fans/sockets,” says Austin Lobo of Aldona, who ran the spotlight.

He further says, “Towards the end of the second year, we eight friends got together. We only had one idea in mind and we didn’t know what material would be needed for the project. We knew we were working towards something that will help us learn and grow. It was an amazing experience to work in a team and to work with hardware and software with pleasure. »

Project features include a home lighting system, automated garage door, security system and intrusion detection. “The app allows the user to control various home appliances such as lights, fans and other devices, making it easy for the user to do everything at their fingertips. An automated garage that s Opens and closes with the push of a button on the app, making it more convenient for drivers A Wifi-enabled camera that can be used for surveillance and accessed remotely through the app This ensures the safety of your home. An alarm system with a motion sensor that alerts the user to burglary, theft and other potential intruders in the home,” adds Lobo.

Although the students learned the software in class, they had no experience in operating the hardware. They borrowed gear from their senior class and ordered some parts online. “We had to do our own research for the project and although we were taught the basics in class, it was completely different. The YouTube tutorials were mostly a trial and error method as some parts were even exhausted in the process. We wanted to learn and grow more in the field,” he explains.

The advantage of this project is that it has an easy to use interface, easily understandable, energy efficient and has a camera that can be accessed remotely from the application. It also has Android app commands working. Therefore, no unnecessary movement is required. “The app is designed for today’s fast-paced work environment, where everything is at your fingertips. It will make everyday life easier and convenient. It is also useful for people with disabilities or the elderly, and who have difficulty controlling electronic devices,” says Lobo.

Like any other project, they had to do a lot of research, for the hardware or the app or any other technical aspect of their project, which got boring at times. “We also had to work really hard on the Android app coding as well as the hardware. It was frustrating working for hours together, sometimes at home, sometimes at college, and not getting the desired result. But all we did was believe in ourselves and keep trying. Our project guide, teachers and family supported and encouraged us during this time. We are extremely grateful to them for having us With all the hard work, dedication, consistency, good technical expertise and guidance from our project guide and teachers, we worked on this project for a year and managed to complete it,” adds Lobo.

“I am happy that the students were able to secure a working project, ‘Smart Home’ despite the difficulties of the pandemic,” says Worrel D’Souza, Assistant Professor, Department of BCA.

The “Smart Home” application is in its first stage and has a lot of development possibilities. Future enhancements would include a much improved user interface, voice commands, fire extinguishing network, weather detection system, gesture control, and more.

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