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At the beginning of this project, the team held a brainstorming session in order to determine some potential project concepts. A few of the ideas that emerged were: led status wallet, a tree with falling leaves, infinity mirror, and a Super Mario coin collector. The team decided that a tree with falling leaves as the source of the ambient financial information would align with our current skillsets and provide the most opportunity to develop additional IOT skills. The original concept consisted of dual DC servo motors that would unwind spools of string. At the end of the string, two leaves would be lowered to the bottom of the tree until they touched ground. One leaf’s displacement would translate to the progress through the month and the other would represent the amount of the budget that has been spent.

In order to input the financial information from the user, IFTTT and a HTML user interface will be utilized. At the beginning of the month, the user will input both the monthly budget and the current date. Google sheets will document the user’s credit card transactions throughout the month. Transaction information will be fed to the particle system through IFTTT on 15 minute increments. The system will then calculate how much to rotate both servos accordingly.

After numerous iterations of both particle code for servo motor control and prototype setup, the team was unable to achieve the desired level of control and functionality. We then decided to switch gears to another method of concept implementation. While the overall project concept did not change, we decided to alter the means of displaying the user’s financial information. The prototype now features two collapsible fan-like decorations. Each fan will rotate a total of 180 degrees according to budget balance or progress through the month. At the end of the month, the system will reset itself back to the starting position.  

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