Going Screenless - IoT Thermal Printer that Can Help Bring our Digital Data into Physical Reality

Going Screenless | IoT Thermal Printer that Can Help Bring our Digital Data into Physical Reality
BFA Student: Trey Smith
Faculty Advisor: Kristian Simsarian, Aynne Valencia 

The focus of this research is to explore the lives of busy or full-scheduled adults; to understand on their motivations, attitudes, behaviors and beliefs about their lives responsibilities and tools they use and have access to, and how they manage to define their own personal time. People with a lot of responsibilities at work and home are at risk of getting behind on scheduled tasks and time to do them. Balancing mindful activities vs. mindless activities can be the difference in getting ahead on your goals. Every person has a different length of time they can work before productivity and creativity begin to decline - and this length of time can shift throughout the course of the day. What would we do differently if we better understood the best times to do specific tasks (or take a break), based on our bodies resources and our goals.

Computational offloading is a term that means taking the real world to accomplish computer cognition, and this is an area for great opportunity in a time where our devices are increasingly vying for our time. I worked with a scientist, therapists, and life coaches along with many others to figure out ways which I can help people like me who are feeling overwhelmed with different to-do lists for home, work, and school. Eventually finding an opportunity in the new field of internet of things.

Using a mini thermal printer made by Adafruit Industries, I have coded a communication between the printer and the internet, allowing someone to connect a variety of services (through the application recipe maker: If This Than That) to bring that data out into print. The printer could live at home, or at work, where it could be configured to trigger a printing event based on you entering or leaving an area. If you have a to-do list, a reminder, or emails you want to interact with in one location, that can be done by having this data printed at that location. Someone could have multiple lists or reminders printed based off of different triggers, so customization allows for use with many services that people use. This system of computational offloading can help someone be more mindful in spaces of work and leisure because they will have a real life reminder of what they are planning to do with their time.