My idea is for a “puck” much like a hockey puck for use by visitors at museums and other exhibitions. The puck would contain electronics and some light emitting diodes but no batteries, thus it is low maintenance.
The device is best explained by how a user might experience the device. Let’s say you visit Melbourne museum. When you arrive you are provided with a small puck which is about 4 inches wide and relatively light. You are also provided with headphones that can be plugged into the puck.
You walk around the museum and spy an exhibit that you want to look at. As you approach the exhibit you see a small table with a 4 inch wide dot. A small sign says – “place puck here”. You place the puck on the dot and immediately several light emitting diodes (leds) on the puck flash to show that the puck is engaged. You have your headphones plugged into the puck and start listening.
An audio presentation begins and starts providing information about the exhibit. Half way through the presentation you pick up the puck. The Leds darken and the audio presentation stops. if you replace the puck within 15 seconds the presentation starts again, picking up where you paused the presentation. If you wait longer than 15 seconds and replace the puck the presentation starts at the beginning of the audio presentation.
The next exhibit you go to has another dot on which you place the puck. This time you get both an audio and video presentation and, as before, removing the puck temporarily pauses the presentation.
The final exhibit you go to see has another dot. When you place the puck on the dot a dinosaur puppet starts moving and making noises. This ceases when you remove the puck.
At the end of your visit to the Museum you return the puck to staff.
The dots are wireless charging transmitters. The pucks are wireless charging receivers and also incorporate a small microcontroller (Arduino), light emitting diodes, an fm radio receiver and a small radio transmitter and receiver.
Under the dots is also a small computer, a Raspberry Pi, wifi for transferring data to a central computer as well as a small radio transmitter and receiver for communicating with the puck and an fm radio transmitter.
When the puck is placed on the dot power starts flowing to the Arduino. The Raspberry Pi notes the increased current flowing through the wireless charger and realises that a puck has been engaged. It starts transmitting an audio file out the fm radio transmitter. This is received by the puck and piped to any headphones plugged in. If the current flow drops, the Pi pauses its presentation. If the current flow increases within 15 seconds then the Pi realises that the puck has been replaced and continues playing the audio. Otherwise it resets and waits for the next puck.
Also when the puck is first placed on the dot, the puck engages, flashes some leds and sends a unique puck code to the Raspberry Pi over radio so that the Pi knows which puck is on the dot.
In due course statistics about which pucks have been used on what exhibits can be transmitted by the Raspberry Pi back to the central computer via wifi.
This system provides a mechanism for user interaction with exhibits, piping of audio/video/mechanitronics for each exhibit with a pause feature, and statistical collection on which exhibits are popular.