How do you agree if you can't agree (Part 1)

This isn’t a post about solving arguments between family,friends or co-workers or any one else who might be annoyed by your habit of dunking Chocolate digestives in you tea.

Its actually about something quite different but something that could get as easily annoying in the future.  A lot of people now have smartphones that can connect to the internet. A lot of the time people will connect using a 3G or maybe 4G data connection but when no data connection is available its often possible to use a wi-fi connection provided by the company or institution that you are in.  That might be a office building,railway station,restaurant or museum.  

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If you open the browser on you phone while using a free wi-fi service more often than not you will be re-directed from your normal homepage to a screen that at its simplest requires a click of a button to agree to the terms and conditions (Of course you will have fully read them before clicking that button, right?) or and it always seem to be train companies that do this creating an account which asks more questions than Jeremy Paxman quizzing some sleezy politician caught with their hand in the till again.

train wifi

Its never as easy as they make it look

Thats straight forward enough, it gets a bit more annoying if you are using an app that requires an internet connection. Apps generally aren’t bright enough to realise although you have a live network connection the connection to the internet is being blocked until you say the magic words and sprinkle the fairy dust.  I’m fairly tech savy and understand how the connection works but it isn’t obvious and I can easily understand how it could become frustrating.

So with a browser and an app it usually possible to get connected even if it takes a bit of knowledge and jumping through hoops. But what if the device you have doesn’t have a screen that lets you get to a browser with the magical ‘agree’ button.

This is something I have been thinking about recently for my Adafruit Element14 Flora challenge entry. I have prepared a storyboard goes step by step through how my design will be used. Near the end where I think about uploading the experience to the internet it got a bit fuzzy as I realised it could get quite complicated.  For the challenge Its about the wearable computing element and using the Flora board so I wasn’t too concerned but I would like to explore my project further and this is one of the real challenges that I will have to overcome.

I’ve decided to split this up into another may be more parts. I’m going to go away and see how other people who are working on internet of things devices are tackling this challenge and also come up with a few ‘what if’ ideas of my own to see If i can improve on what is currently out there.

I might also do some research into which biscuits are the best for dunking in tea.

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