When Aabie Ryan’s five year old daughter was too scared to go to the loo because of her fear of monsters and ghosts, Aabie did what any parent would do - she built a ghost detector.
Aabie told us “She likes to knock on our door in the middle of the night, because she wants us to accompany her to pee. 'Help, there’s a monster! I see someone!' Once in a while it’s OK, but when it’s every night it becomes annoying! That’s why we’ve made this gadget.
“It’s very simple – it works using two sensors. The first one is a temperature sensor. The metaphysical theory says that if a ghost approaches you will feel cold. Based on that we are using Arduino temperature sensors and we created a code that says if the temperature is below 25 degrees celsius the screen will show that a ghost is around. So I told my daughter, all you need to do to get rid of this ghost is turn off your aircon and make it warmer than 25! You can carry on in peace - pee in peace, sleep in peace. Also, I don’t really like to pay the bills for having the aircon on really cold…!”
Aabie helps run the Sparky and Bear Homeschool in Jakarta, which teaches extracurricular activities such as coding, blogging and creating interactive devices with Arduino microcontrollers.
They recently won the awards for 'Best User Experience' at the Sci-Fi Hardware Hackathon with their ghost detector, which along with a temperature sensor has a gas sensor too - the lights flash red when there is gas detected.
"We live in an apartment that is very compact, and sometimes we have a small gas leakage if the gas tap is not fully closed. When my daughter turned on the lamp when we had a small leak, it sparked. And that’s quite scary – I don’t want to happen when I’m not around. So my daughter knows that she shouldn’t turn any devices on if the gas is detected.”
The ghost detector AKA the parenting kit
"As long as you’re Indonesian, having ‘ghost detector’ as your headline means people are interested. They are into ghosts, into superstitions, they like being scared. The ‘ghost detector’ is just a marketing thing to grab some attention, because if we say ‘it’s a parenting kit’ people will think its boring!"
Also at the Digital Design Weekend:
Along with the ghost detector, people visiting the Digtial Design Weekend in Jakarta we also able to play with face recognition technology and virtual reality.