In week 2 we had a team meeting in lab and a presentation to the class.
We defined the project in terms of three components:
1. The hardware device that connects to the OBD port of a car and transmits a signal via Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB.
2. A smartphone app that reads the hardware device's signal to both store the OBD data and to pair the data with GPS coordinates. The app will eventually transmit its data to a web portal, probably via HTTP.
3. A web portal that will receive data from the smarthphone and provide a user-friendly display.
No user intervention required. Just plug in the OBD device and run the smartphone app. The phone app and OBD device need to be able to communicate without intervention, but also the phone app should be able to transmit data to the cloud without user intervention.
We discussed using Amazon or Google web services to create our web portal. We were leaning towards Google Sites. Also discussed the possibility of using Flash for the web portal, because it could be good for making animations easily. Brent was unfamiliar with Flash, but will look into it.
We discusses the hardware chip to use, and were leaning towards ELM327 + something for bluetooth.
We decided our smarthphone platform would be Android, specifically we would target Nexus One. We ruled out the iPhone because it is infeasible for us to get development access to iPhone's bluetooth module.
Ben created this presentation for the class. The discussions that followed this presentation are summarized below.
We presented the possibility of using Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB to transmit data from the OBD device to the smartphone. Someone in class suggested that using Bluetooth would be problematic because Bluetooth is a point-to-point protocol and phones usually have one Bluetooth module. This would mean our app could not run while, for example, the user was making a call using a Bluetooth headset.
Someone raised the concern of a phone's battery life, suggesting that running the Bluetooth or WiFi modules drain a phone's battery rapidly.