Week 19. Invention, intellectual property and income

19. Invention, intellectual property and income


“Develop a plan for dissemination of your final project. Prepare drafts of your summary slide (presentation.png, 1920x1080) and video clip (presentation.mp4, 1080p HTML5, < ~minute, < ~10 MB) and put them in your root directory”


First concept slide
First concept video


Adobe Illustrator
Apple iMovie


Macbook pro 15 inch


Most of my work happens via the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Being a mostly publicly funded university I think it is appropriate that also most of my work is available in the public domain.
I want that other people can also use my work to help people with a visual impairment.
I do not mind them growing a business out of that service.
It would be nice if there is an aknowledgement that the original work was from me and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

From these criteria I selected 3 candidates for my software and design files:

  1. MIT license
  2. Apache license
  3. Fab license

The MIT license is very short and clear, it very direct in its communication. I dislike its enforcement to keep new work under the same license. The Apache license is similar and provides more details, I like its formulation and open attitude. Unlike the MIT license you can relicense the work, making it easier to make money with it.
The Fab license is open and short in its formulation. It talks about you having your own responsibility as the MIT and Apache license, but also talks about contributing the original author. I like this license the best for my goal, it allows others to do new things with it and make money with it, but also lets credits flow back to our instititute.

After this carefull consideration I decided to distribute my work under the Fab license.


As my product itself will be free, and I do not want to make money on the product, I will not make a business plan.
I do want to raise awareness about the product, and want to diseminate the product via the proper channels.

Scientific community

First I want to start in the scientific scene. Since the product is mainly developed to be used for scientific research, it makes sense to get the product visible in this group and receive feedback on its design and properties.
For scientific audience I want to work in two steps:

  1. Demonstrate the product as a demo on a respected conference as ACM Ubicomp.
    With this demo I will create awareness among the scientific audience that is active in the ubiquitous computing area, durther I will receive feedback on its featuers and ease of use, alowing me to make further improvements before further using the device.
  2. Next, perfrom user test with the product and publish paper at respected conference as ACM CHI.
    With the user test I will test the basic features of the device in a simple but effective usecase. The case will be about unubstrusive communication, for example: a use will be asked to have a conversation, while checking the time using the TIK-TOK. The device will be activated via a tappattern and vibrate the time in specific patterns. This test will allow the tester to check the time, while continuing the conversation and keeping his/her eyes on the conversation partner.
  3. Last, when having tested and demonstrated the basic usage of the device, I will incorporate it in further user tests with people with visual impairments, demonstratrating the effectiviness of the system for this specific target audience. I will write a paper for a respected conference about assistive technology for people with a visual impairment as ACM ASSETS.

Education - Students

Next to the scientific audience, I will be further developing the prototype with students.
Starting in September 2019 I will as a group of Computer Science students to further deveop the TIKTOK concept, implementing features for the app, shrinking down the footprint of the device, and making the experience more pleasent for the user.
Use-cases will be around communicating the time via vibration patterns, communicate with IOT devices as lights and doorbell about their status, and indoor and oudoor navigation with vibrations.
The cases with students allow me to further refine the concept, create new features, but also to establish a working platform where multiple developers can work on.
For starters I will create a git repository on the HvA gitlab environment. From there I will manage features, documentation, issues, contributions, like as we did with the fabacademy. The URL will be https://gitlab.fdmci.hva.nl/biejh/tiktok

General public

In my last step I will valorise the product to the general public by performing demonstrations at public events.
From within the HvA we allready have mulitple platforms available that I can use to demonstrate the product.
For example: each year we participate in the WeMakeTheCity event, and have monthly presentations at SPUI25. Further the Waag has regular events around the makers community and I think it is a nice plug for the fabacademy course to demonstrate a succesfull continuation of a product that was developed in the course.
Last I will start a blog at the git repository and blog about my ideas and experiences to further engage the general public. Blog posts will follow a similar format to the fabacademy course, but will also be instagrammable and spread via twitter.


Financing for these activities can be via the HvA.
I usually work on projects with external financiers, but we write our own project proposals. Starting September, I will start writing a proposal about tactile communication with wearable devices. It will build with my parterns around the visual impairment target audience. The first financing call we will aim for is the ZonMw Inzicht call. Starting next year they have will have a new call around assistive technology, that we will write a proposal for. Earlier I succefully started the EyeBeacons project with these partners following this procedure, and I have confidence in the collaboration and application of this idea with this fund.
Further it is possible for me to write a Phd research proposal within my university following funds as a teacher Phd track provided by the Dutch government via SIA. I also want to work in this, I will start with further refining the target audience of people with a visual impairment and the application domain of Internet of Things devices. Further I will search for a professor that is interested in supervising the PhD track. I have contacts at the technical universities of Delft and Twente, for example Professor Dirk Heylen, where they have experience in haptic communication devices.
From within the HvA I can get guidance in writing such a proposal via IxA. They have experience in writing these types of proposals and have a list of requirements and touchpoints that need to be covered for a susccefull proposal.

What to communicate at the final delivery

My project should communicate:

  1. problem
  2. sollution
  3. fabrication processes used


Personal Internet of things devices are becoming more common (e.g. smarthome, health, sports). The accessibility of these devices is often low, user groups as visually impaired are not supported or even considered when the hardware and software is designed and implemented. While Apple devices do support accessibility via Voice-over this is not always implemented in the apps. Still when implemented it results in the VI having to rely on the text-to-speech interface. The TTS/voice interface demands the full attention of the VI when using the device, making it very difficult to interact with other people while interaction with the device. This demand on voice interfaces can be greatly reduces by implemented haptic based input and output. Unfortunately Apple Watches do not allow for advanced haptic feedback.

In bullets:

  • For controlling Internet of Things devices people with a visual impairement are forced to voice(over) based interfaces
  • a tactile communication interface could give a silent, touch based communication option


I created a smart wearable optimised for delivering tactile in- and output for VI.
Communication output through vibrations using a vibration motor and vibration patterns.
Communication input through tap patterns using an accelerometer. The wearable is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth and can be controlled via an app.

Presentation slide draft


  • armband image in the centre in exploded view
  • top title of project, catchy name: TikTok bracelet
  • smartphone app screenshot right
  • bluetooth logo between armband and smartband
  • left top input tap patterns
  • left bottom output vibration patterns
  • bottom bar logo’s
  • inspired by my first sketch: at each part a short text explaining with what machine it is made

Background color white.
Text color black.

decomposed view with components of smartwatch concept

First concept

I made my slide in Adobe llustrator.
I imported a drawing of my watch as placeholder for the final version.
The final image wil be photo of the watch, where you can see each component.
Attached to each component is a black line with text explaning the component.
Next to the smartwatch I placed a black phone, this will hold a screenshot of my smartphone app (when it is finished).
I further specified my communication protocol and my tap and vibration patterns.

During the design of the slide I decided to drop the whole VI part of the watch.
For me it is very important, but looking at the functionality I currently can present, it is not relevant.
For FabAcademy it is more relevant that I present a nice working product and show how I made it.

First concept slide

Presentation video clip draft

I created a videoclip using Apple’s iMovie.
iMovie supports trailers. This is a preconstructed story with animations for the titles.
The format did not really fit my need, so I copied the title animations and some photo animations to a default iMovie format and created the first film draft.
Since I don’t have my final board, I cannot make my final video, therefor I inserted placeholder pictures of older versions.
The story I wanted to tell in the video is:

  1. Introduce the concept: TikTok, a haptic smart band.
  2. It can vibrate and recognice taps.
  3. It can communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth using the serial interface and a custom protocol
  4. A smarthpone app allows you controll the device and exposes an API for other apps
  5. Show the devices/ building concepts that are used to create the device

I selected a nice tune from my favorite license free composer Kevin Maclead from https://incompetech.com.

When exporting the file in iMovie, I could not get the size smaller than 50mb using the default settings.
I tried to further reduce the size of the movie using VLC, this reduced the size to 25 mb, but ruined the audio.
I further digged through iMovie and found custom exporting settings in the video quality. By selecting custom, I could reduce the file size to 26,1 mb without making my video unwatchable.
To further trying to reduce the file size I used ffmpeg with the command provided by Neil:

ffmpeg -i input_video -vcodec libx264 -crf 25 -preset medium -vf scale=-1:1080 -acodec libmp3lame -q:a 4 -ar 48000 -ac 2 output_video.mp4

This reduced the file size to 8,8 mb, well below the 10 mb limit!


I enjoyed preparing the final presentation.
It reminds me how much I have learned and build the past months.
Further preparing weeks ahead allows me now to make hard choices, for example to drop the whole problem clause.
For met it is very important, but for the FabAcademy it is not, and it is more important to focus on the used methods and tools and the funcitonality of the final product.

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