Team members: Dalina Clemente Ruohan Zhang Christian Abogaa

Group Paper A
Team leader:
Alex Ly
Team members:
Dalina Clemente
Ruohan Zhang
Christian Abogaa
E190W Communication in the Professional World
Professor Patrick Hong
29 January 2019
Table of Contents
1. Introduction……………………………………………….…..……………3
2. Proposal Statement…………………………………………..……….…..4
3. Work Product……………………………………………….……..………5
4. Competition………………………………………………………..….….7
5. Marketing………………………………………………………..…………9
6. Data…………………………………………………………………….…10
7. Approach……………………………………………………..………….12
8. Schedule…………………………………………………………….……14
9. Risk Management………………………………………………………15
List of Figures
1. Library Study Space Locator…………………………………………….3
2. Ceiling Mount Sensor……………………………………………………5
3. Wireless Sensor Network Schematic…………………………………….6
4. SmithScape Mobile App Userinterface………………………………….8
5. Quick Response Code on Display………………………………………10
6. Students Enrolled at UCI……………………………………………….10
7. Difficulty Finding Study Area’s on Campus……………………………11
8. Students willing to use ZotLocator…………………………………….11
List of Tables
1. Individual Electrical Components Cost………………………………..12
2. Average Mean Hourly Wage…………………………………………….13
3. ZotLocator Development Schedule……………………………….…….14
I. Introduction
Based on the survey conducted of 31 past and present UCI students of various majors,
87.1% of students had trouble finding study space on campus. Difficulty finding study space
is not only a UCI problem but one that many university students struggle with. At Lehigh
University students struggle to find study space in the library, having to show up early in the
morning to guarantee a seat, and this adds on to the stress that the students already feel
preparing for exams [1]. Group study spaces can be especially hard to find at UCI,
reservation can be made for study rooms, but they offer no flexibility and are quickly filled
Currently the UCI library has a study space locator on their website that allows you to
enter the amenities that you want, and it provides a list of places to study. There are serious
flaws in the library’s locator which leaves it mostly unused by students. The first flaw of the
locator is that it does not list all the available study space on campus, and the non-library
study spaces have very little information about them. This greatly limits the selection that
students are offered for study space as the libraries only cover a small portion of the available
study space.
Figure 1. Library Study Space Locator
The second flaw of the library locator is that it does very little to indicate the
occupancy level, and the true ambience of the study space. The only indication of occupancy
from the library locator is how many computers are in use. This does not paint an accurate
picture of the occupancy of the room. Along with the study space being taken but only a few
computers are in use. Students are aware that there are study spaces in the library but they
don’t want to search aimlessly looking for a place to sit when there might not be any
available. Students are picky when it comes to the ambience of the study room, and some
would prefer there to be some noise while others might prefer silence [1].
Students at UCI are not currently utilizing all the available and diverse study space
available to them. The problem is that they are not aware that there are more options available
to them, and students do not want to expend energy looking in each room in hope of finding a
study space. During finals weeks, when study space is sought the most, there are more
available rooms to use since less lectures and discussions are held.
II. Proposal Statement
The proposed solution is a mobile application which named ZotLocator that allows
students to conveniently locate a study space in campus that suits their personal preference.
The mobile application will provide a real-time status update of the occupancy and sound
level of a desired study space so the user can efficiently locate one. The application will be
paired with sensors placed in room that update the application with the current situation in the
III. Work Product
The study rooms will be equipped with a room monitoring device that are
strategically positioned in the ceiling to optimize the sensors performance [2]. The number of
sensors will be dependent on the size of the room. The room monitoring device will have a
passive infrared sensors paired with a microphone to determine the occupancy and noise level
Figure 2. Ceiling Mount Sensor [2]
The wireless sensor network allows communication between the sensors and the
mobile application. Each sensor node has the ability to sense, process, and communicate
information through wifi [4]. Wherever the sensors detect occupancy of a study room, it send
this information to the central server through a gateway. It then periodically checks the
occupancy and noise level of the room until it stops detecting occupants. The central server
stores this information to a database. A schematic of the wireless sensor network is shown in
Figure 3.
Figure 3. Wireless Sensor Network Schematic [5]
The server periodically updates the ZotLocator to allow users to view the occupancy
and sound level of any study rooms in given area. The user can either use this information or
they can specify a desired range for the room occupancy and noise level. The noise level will
be classified into three categories: quite, normal, and noisy. The Zotlocator sends a query to
the central server based on the user inputs. The central server retrieves the room location that
satisfies the specified parameters from the database. The server can send this information to a
navigation app like ZotFinder. ZotFinder is a mobile application that provides navigation
information throughout the UCI campus [6]. After the student selects a study space, the
student can either use the address to locate the room or they chose the direct link to ZotFinder
for navigation information.
IV. Competition
It seemed for a while that it was difficult to find a suitable place to study in school. In
the market, there are already some apps that help students find places to study. One such
application is RoomFinder. RoomFinder is a software that developed by Bryant’s students to
find places for students to study. The app taps into the sensor-controlled Crestron automatic
lighting system installed throughout Bryant’s campus. By querying which sensors are seeing
movement, the app knows which rooms are empty [7]. Although the RoomFinder is like
ZotLocator, it lacks the function of noise level. If an app which is supposed to help a student
find a place to study lacks the function of noise level, it might bring discomfort and troubles
for the student. When an app which help student looking for a place to study, and lacks the
function of showing the noise level, it will bring unnecessary trouble to students. For
example, some study rooms need to be shared by more than one person. In this case, there
might be excessive noise due to the discussions coming from the various students in the
room. If a student is looking for a place to study and sees a decibel noise in the study room,
he or she will make a choice to go or not.
Another competitor to ZotLocator is an app from Smith school called SmithScape.
This application is very similar to ZotLocator. Accessible from a smartphone or laptop,
SmithScape allows users to search for study areas by space type, resources offering Lighting
— even noise levels. (Filters for the latter include “silent,” “low hum” and “chatter.”) [8].
Although functionally SmithScape also includes noise levels, its biggest problem is the lack
of diversity in the study room. SmithScape includes only the campus library. A big reason
student looks for study rooms is that the library is full. At this point, the school’s other public
open classrooms become a better option. However, ZotLocator will cover the whole school.
Therefore, ZotLocator will be a better choice for students. Another disadvantage of
SmithScape is that its mobile client doesn’t have a map, as shown in figure [8]. However,
ZotLocator covers this feature.
Figure 4. SmithScape Mobile App Userinterface
V. Marketing
The customer for ZotLocator will be University of California Irvine (UCI), who
would purchase the app in order to provide a resource for their students. These 30,000
students at UCI would be the primary users and therefore the target and marketing techniques
will be aimed for the students. The app ZotLocator will provide the university a resource
which will enable their students quick access to available study spaces on campus. In order to
announce the app the main strategy is to promote on social media, specifically targeting the
two most popular networking apps, that being facebook and instagram [19].
Using Facebook affiliated groups along with the official UCI website, it will allow the
students to be introduced to ZotLocator. In order to promote and visualize the app, these
websites will contain a short demonstration video in which the students would be able to see
the functions of the app and how to properly use it. Instagram would be another way to
announce to the students the launch of ZotLocator, because there are many UCI affiliated
pages which the students follow on a daily basis. There are multiple department and student
organizations that will allow a post regarding this study app, because it benefits the whole
anteater community.
Unfortunately there are some students who don’t access Instagram and Facebook and
therefore we would opt to learn of this app through other resources. Of the many other
resources some options would be UCI student run media such as the KUCI radio station and
the official newspaper New University. Using these student run media it would enable access
to make a quick announcement of the app’s new launch and benefits for the students. Lastly
in order to promote flyers will be pronte which will announce ZotLocator, they will all be
posted around campus and primarily study spaces. Along with these each room will have a
Quick Response (QR) code that will be placed on walls and doors which will allow the
students to quickly download the app. Ultimately making it very easy for the students to
download and begin using ZotLocator.
Figure 5. Quick Response Code on Display
VI. Data
The data collected is only of UCI undergraduate students who are currently enrolled
or are recent graduates. Of the thirty-one students interviewed only twenty-eight are currently
enrolled on campus, but all the students have been a part of the anteater community and on
the UCI campus.
Figure 6. Students Enrolled at UCI
Of the students interviewed twenty-seven of them agree that they have had a difficult
time finding available study space on campus, regardless whether they are currently students
or recent graduates.
Graph 7. Difficulty Finding Study Area’s on Campus
Lastly of the thirty-one students surveyed thirty believed that they would benefit from
an app allowing them to find open study spaces on campus. This helps confirm that many of
the students would use ZotLocator, because it ultimately saves them time and enables the
students to find a study place of their preference whether that’d be quiet, loud, etc.
Figure 8. Students willing to use ZotLocator
VII. Approach
The cost analysis for this proposal considered two main categories to approximate the
production cost. The first part focuses on the individual electrical components that are readily
available in the market. The second part shows the mean hourly wages of the constructors
necessary to develop the product.
Table 1 shows the individual prices of the electrical components for the monitoring
device. The prices are based on consumer electronics retailers. The approximated total
material cost per module is $66.43. The total material cost is projected to decrease as the
modules are mass produced. The electrical components can be purchased in bulk which
normally lowers the price per unit. For example, the infrared sensor cost $32.50 if purchased
individually but the price drops to $22.90 if purchased in batch of 50 pieces [9].
Components Cost Source
Infrared Sensor $32.50 [9]
Microphone Sensor $10.95 [10]
Wifi module $4.99 [11]
Battery $17.99 [12]
Total material cost per unit $66.43
Table 1. Individual Electrical Components Cost
The mean hourly wages specified in Table 2 are based on values determined by the
Bureau of Labor and Statistics for the specified occupations [10]. Each module needs to be
assembled and installed. The assembly cost can be estimated by multiplying the mean hourly
wage for an electronics assembler by how long it take to assemble a single unit. The
installation cost can also be approximated in the same manner. The ZotLocator also needs a
software developer to create a mobile application compatible with Apple iOS, Android and
Windows operating systems.
Occupation Mean hourly wage Source
Assembly Cost $16.78 [13]
Installation Cost $23.02 [14]
Software Developer $51.30 [15]
Table 2. Average Mean Hourly Wage
It takes approximately 750 hours to develop a mobile application compatible with
iOS, Android, and windows operating system so the total software development will cost
about $40,000 [16]. If it takes 1 hour to fully assemble the device and 1 hour for installation,
the labor cost associated per unit is about $40. Therefore, the total estimated cost per unit is
$106. For simplicity, assume that there are 200 study spaces in campus. The total cost of the
ZotLocator development comes to $61,200. The estimated development cost does not include
other expenses such as manufacturing facility rent. The team plans to sell the ZotLocator
mobile app and the hardware as a package to the school. Part of the negotiation is a lab space
in campus primarily for for assembly and manufacturing.
VIII. Schedule
The development timeline for the ZotLocator is shown in Table 3. The main
objectives are product development, sensor installation, mobile app development, beta
testing, design changes/update, and public launch. The product development includes
prototyping, testing and manufacturing of the sensors. The mobile application is the focal
point of the entire project so the software development will take 15 weeks to complete. Once
the system integration is completed, it be will be released to beta testers to collect data for
quality, usability and performance. Design changes and updates will be made to the mobile
app based on the data collected during beta testing period. If everything goes according to
plan, the StudyLocator will be ready to launch to public on the 20th week.
Objectives 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1
Sensor Installation
Mobile App
Beta Testing
Table 3. ZotLocator Development Schedule
IX. Risk Management
The risk of a large-scale infrastructure project like the ZotLocator is that there may be
cost overruns due to manufacturing and installation delays. These risks can be mitigated by
insuring that the source of the materials and the supply chain are prepared to handle the
volume that is requested ahead of time. The installation delays can be mitigated by vetting a
contractor and finding the most reliable workers to do the electrical wiring and installation.
Another risk of the project is that students may see a room that is shown to have space and a
low noise ambience, but once they arrive the situation in the room may be different than the
one they are expecting. The room may have no seats and the ambience is not desirable
anymore. This risk can be mitigated by giving a constant update to the situation in the room.
If the student is being navigated to the room the app will be able to tell them about this
X. Conclusion
ZotLocator will provide UCI students with quicker and efficient access to any
available study space on campus. This easy to use mobile app, available for both android and
iphone, will help the students choose their prefered study space based on location, sound
ambiance, and most importantly occupancy. There will be real time data informing the user
of the occupancy number in every room and study area. If in any case the student will need
directions to their prefered location, they will have easy access to navigation as the app will
be linked with ZotFinder. These interchangeable preferences will benefit the students and
allow them to study in a place in which they feel most comfortable.
Of the students interviewed roughly ninety-seven percent believed an app locating
available study spaces on campus would be beneficiary. Many students have previously had a
difficult time finding a place to study, and end up wasting much of their time. ZotLocator will
eliminate this problem and ultimately eliminate any stress that might come from having to
look for a place to study on campus.
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[Accessed: 29-Jan-2019].
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Nguyen,Vinh Quang Nguyen, Chau Minh Nguyen, “A smart meeting room
scheduling and management system with utilization control and ad-hoc support based
onreal-time occupancy detection,” 2016 IEEE Sixth International Conference on
Communications and Electronics (ICCE), September 2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed:
[3] Kumar Padmanabh, Malikarjuna V, Sougata Sen, Siva Prasad Katru, Amrit Kumar,
Sai Pawankumar C, Sunil Kumar Vuppala, Sanjoy Paul, “iSense: A Wireless Sensor
Network Based Conference Room Management System,” Proceedings of the First
ACM Workshop on Embedded Sensing Systems for Energy-Efficiency in Buildings,
pp. 37-42, NOvember 2009. [Online]. Available:
1548758492_2f4d33851a6aa46d76e0f389eaaaa726. [Accessed: 24-Jan-2019]
[4] I.F.AkyildizW, Su, Y.Sankarasubramaniam, E.Cayirci, “Wireless sensor networks: a
survey,” Computer Networks, vol. 38, no. 4 pp.393-422, March 2002. [Online].
[Accessed: 25-Jan-2019]
[5] Ousmane Diallo, Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues, Mbaye Sene, Jaime Lloret, “Distributed
Database Management Techniques for Wireless Sensor Networks,” IEEE
Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 604-620, August
2013. [Online]. Available:
[Accessed: 25-Jan-2019]
[6] “Lost? Download ZOTfinder.” UCI News, 5 Feb. 2015, [Online]. Available:
[7] “App Helps Students Find Empty Study Space.” University Business Magazine,
University Business, 23 May 2014, [Online]. Available:
[8] Published July 31, 2017. “SmithScape: New App Helps Users Find Study Spaces on
Campus « – Smith College Grécourt Gate Smith College Grécourt Gate.” Media &
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[9] “Panasonic Electronic Components AMG8833,” Digi-Key Electronics. [Online].
33/P19002CT-ND/5825306. [Accessed: 27-Jan-2019]
[10] “Sparkfun Sound Detector,” Sparkfun. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Jan-2019]
[11] “AZDelivery 1x Nodemcu Lua Amica Module V2 ESP8266 ESP 12E WiFi WiFi
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=Li-SoCl2+Lithium+Chloride-Thionyl+3.6. [Accessed: 28-Jan-2019].
[13] “51-2028 Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers, Except Coil
Winders, Tapers, and Finishers,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30-Mar-2018.
[Online]. Available: [Accessed:
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