Gadget Renesas

Linking Ideas and Electronics

GR Atelier

Title:Message Board Deepening Family Ties

Displayed Name:TKTK360

Message Board Deepening Family Ties

Concept / Overview
We always let family members know when we’re headed home, but as messages can go unnoticed, I developed a device to eliminate that problem.
A message containing your ETA sent remotely from your smartphone application is displayed on a device back home.
- A countdown until your arrival is displayed on the LCD along with a message
- Your approximate ETA is displayed in colored LEDs.

The Idea & Happy Users

The Idea
In our family, we always let each other know when we’re headed home.
However, some smartphone messages or phone calls fail, as the recipient is unavailable, does not notice the message, or cannot receive it due to uncharged or dead batteries.
In addition, I always felt sorry for my daughter, who was still too young to answer the phone, and never knew exactly when other family members would return home.
I often thought about creating a way for a home device with a regular power supply to display an unmissable LED message which anyone could check at any time


Happy Users and the Device
Surely families throughout the world would enjoy this device.
The goal was to develop a device to inform those at home of other family members’ ETA (using LED) and relay an additional message.


Results Achieved as of Contest Judging

Model Case

1. Send a simple message remotely from your smartphone for LED display on the gadget
Use your smartphone to initiate a cloud-based push notification, allowing your linked device at home to display your ETA (using LCD) and a simple message. The LED color can be programmed to change as time passes.


2. Schedule reminder
Your smartphone can be programmed to display reminders of regular activities on the LED.


(Development Materials)
Android smartphone application (transmission/reception)
Notification (communication via Milkcocoa)
Gadget (message displayed on GR-PEACH LCD, notified via LED)


(Schedule for project development -- dates not included)
GR Microcontroller training, selection of materials
Development of smartphone application and cloud
Gadget development
and integration




Demo Video


Issues during project development

- Unity was used for development of the smartphone application.
The 3D “Unity-chan” character was exported using a script. This data was then used to make a 2D “Unity-chan” figure on GR-PEACH LCD using a drawing tool.


- GR-PEACH development was handled with mbed, an online compiler.
The figure was converted to a byte array on a PC.
Using mbed, the byte array was used to display data on the LCD.


Caution:  be careful that files sent to the online compiler are not too big, as they will not go through. One solution is to separate the files when sending, and combine them in the program. Larger files require too much time for compilation and waiting while files are sent to the device, making debugging difficult. As a future consideration, I plan on creating an offline development environment, allowing non-essential images to be read from an SD card.


GR Design Contest 2016 Finalist