Compass that points to places in your memory

We all get lost in life sometime, and it's fine to take a step back.

It was my first quarter at Stanford as a graduate student. One day on my way back home I passed by Arroyo, where I used to live when I first came here as a summer school student a few years ago. The moment I saw the familiar doorplate numbered 107, all my memory of the summer hours flooded in when my friends and I would lie down on the green lawn at Oval, light-heartedly enjoying sunshine. That moment meant a lot to me. We all need to stop and even take a few steps back from time to time, to think about why we have started off.

That is my inspiration for TIME TRAVELER. It is a compass that takes you to the unique moments in your memory. Select a date by rotating the timer, it will pull location information via API from your Facebook posts published at that certain time point, and then navigate you to destination by rotating the pointer via a servo programmed by Arduino. In a world overwhelmed by various digital noise, this is a silent journey specially designed for you, and it is destined to be filled with memory, reflection and even unexpected discovery.

Mobile App

I developed an app interfacing with Facebook API to get location data. The app is communicating with the compass via Bluetooth. All the functionality of time traveler can be achieved on a mobile app. The reason I insist on building the physical compass is that I want it to be something the user can hold, touch, feel and follow.

Product Video

Individual project for ME203: Design and Manufacturing
Presented at Stanford "Meet the Maker" 2016 Winter

Design Process

ONE and a half month, FIVE prototype iterations
TWENTY hours coding, THIRTEEN hours soldering and debugging, FORTY hours machining