Introduction: Office Hollaback

Let your coworkers know when you’re looking for them with the Hollaback. Built with the BeagleBone Black, this device is simple to use – just scan your ID and the Hollaback owner will be sent a message via text or email informing them that they need to “hollaback” at you.

This project was made for an intern DIY design challenge at Texas Instruments.

Team members are Brandon Cooper, Michael Raibick, and Serena Shah-Simpson.

Step 1: Order Your Parts!

To make the Hollaback, you will need:

  1. BeagleBone Black
  2. Wifi adapter
  3. USB hub
  4. NFC scanner
  5. MicroHDMI Adapter
  6. Breadboard
  7. Resistors
  8. Wires
  9. LEDs
  10. Switch
  11. Empty Box

Step 2: Find Out Your Company's Security Policies

Since you are going to be scanning employee IDs, you first need to find out if you are allowed to do this. Once that's out of the way, you need to ask around to find out what information the IDs hold and how you can access the information that you want (the name of the employee).

For our Hollaback, we created a Python dictionary that connected ID card numbers to peoples' names.

You also need to get your hands on an NFC scanner. We managed to borrow one from TI, so we didn't have to buy one. Please note that these do get pretty pricey!

Step 3: Configure Your Board

You need to install all of the drivers and libraries that you will need onto the BBB. We installed the Adafruit python library.

Step 4: Program Your Boards

Create your program on the BBB and wire up your circuit according to the files and diagram provided. The switch is used to indicate whether the message should be sent as an email or a text, and this digital input from the breadboard to the BBB should be taken from the node that joins the 10k and 570 ohm resistors. We connected this input to port 11 on the BBB.


Step 5: Create Your Casing

Cut holes in the top and sides of your box for the LEDs, the switch, and all of the cables that need to come out of the BBB. Put everything together, and you're done!