Getting ready for launch
Our team arrived back in Nashik on August 23, 2015 to get the environment boxes assembled and installed all over Nashik, and to launch this website. The schedule was tough since we’ve faced huge problems getting all the components in from our vendor SEEED in China. Custom clearings – mildly speaking – was a desaster. But finally it cleared and was delivered the day we arrived.
The countdown started – everything was focussed to go online on the first big day at Kumbha Mela – the first bath (Shahi snan). The steps we went through during the process were sometimes painful but at the end – when things worked – rewarding.
First thing was to assemble all the boxes. In an evening session for of us set up an assembly line around the table in the living room in our apartment and within 3 hours 30 units were ready. The hardware was really plug & play – the sensors needed to be atached to the main board into specific ports … if you have one unit done, all the rest goes easy.
The next step was to upload the software to the boards and test the units. A few bugs occured but we were able to optimize the code. During this phase we also decided not to rely on wifi but rather on SIM cards since wifi is expected not to run smoothly during Kumbha Mela. When finally the activated SIM cards arrived we got the boxes ready.
Parallel to this we were looking for places where to install the units. We marked the places on Google maps – taking care that we include all major roads going into the main areas of Kumbha Mela. We needed to assure that we do get the spots where the biggest increase of people happen.
The day before Shahi snan we finally started to install the boxes …
Another part of the team was working at the front- and backend of this website which slowly emerged over the days. The tricky part there was to provide a user-friendly view of all the data.