Jonathan Warren

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LTE Pager

Spring 2020

Hot take: 2020 was a challenging year. With the pandemic ramping up, I sadly wasn't able to continue working with wonderMakr. As part of the grieving process I wanted to continue working on electronics projects to keep those activities in my life.

As previously mentioned, I have a brother with an intellectual disability. Another technological challenge we've had is with giving him a regular cell-phone, so he can stay in touch if he's out and about with friends. It was challenging to lock the device down so it could only be used in certain circumstances to communicate with specific people. An easy example of where this went wrong is he started dialing 9-1-1 (emergency services) for all sorts of little things, not really understanding the criteria for an emergency call. In thinking about ways to solve this problem (allowing specific remote communications), I devised a proof of concept for a modern day pager.

The idea is to create an incredibly durable device with a massive battery that performs exclusively low-energy mobile communications for very low monthly costs. This device can stay on the person and let their caregiver ask simple questions, get location information from the device, and allows the user to trigger an alert that would be sent back to the caregiver in near real-time.

I leveraged the Particle hardware and cloud platform, which in turn has a line of hardware that leverages the Adafruit Feather footprint. This allows many pieces of expansion hardware (such as screens and GPS receivers) to be added quite easily. It's a perfect prototyping platform!


I've stayed quite high-level on this project, because I still think it's a cool idea, and would love to build it out further.