The project was developed by Dean Mercado, a web developer at Yeti. He was assigned a fun internal project from his company that required him to create a LED ticker that could flash emoji as a response to people who post emoji-based excuses over one of the company’s app – Chelsea Handler’s Gotta Go. The app helps people in setting up an “excuse” in form of texts or calls that your phone can disturb you with at a set time later.
Excuses like these are supposed to help employees in avoiding awkward conversations by pointing an excuse over their phone. Every excuse could be linked with an “emoji” that helps the users in knowing the calls or messages they will be activating without having to read their verbose description. So, if someone is avoiding an uncomfortable conversation with their in-laws, the ticker would let the whole office know what the employee is ducking with the help of emoji. Called as the emoji-ticker, this one is striking visually and a very healthy addition to an office’s ecosystem.
In terms of hardware, he picked up some simple machines like Raspberry Pi, a few jumper wires, some LED Matrix boards, and power supplied for Matrix as well as Pi. The software requirement was met by including some expert code that was already written by someone else. It was used for communicating signals between Matrix and Pi. It proved its worth and was useful in several demos that helped the LED matrix in scrolling some cure stuff like “Hello World,”, “<rotating rectangle>”.
One of the first obstacles that he faced while executing the plan was in plugging everything as per the online tutorial guidelines. Upon activation it yielded nothing initially. Accidently, he picked up a five with multimeter and breadboard. Therefore, when everything was plugged it turned into an array if dysfunction. Another issue came in while he was implementing the software side that led to breaking of complete office’s internet. The solution to this problem was found by creation a server for Emoji Ticker that passively received messages from the app to an active program that was sending requests to it and used responses after that. He had to write a Python program that just called the Gotta Go server over an unending loop along with a request for emojis posted by all users in last “n” number of seconds. The response was then given to the very same wrapper functions that were written a while ago for interfacing C-code taking care of LED matrix.
Filed Under: Reviews