Google Calendar Application

This app is used to display events drawn from a publicly shared Google calendar on a BluBoard. The user needs only a few basic pieces of information: the Gmail address of the account associated with the calendar (we’re using chicagosummercalendar@gmail.com in the example shown below,) the name of the calendar they want to use (e.g.: Chicago Calendar) and the date for which they want to display events. Given this info, the BluBoard will show five events, starting from the selected start date. If there is no event scheduled on the selected date, the signage will display the last event before the selected date and the next four events after.

The app’s functionality has four main components:
● The app calls and displays events from any publicly shared Google calendar.
● For each event, the app displays the event name, date, start and end times, and location.
● The app will display 5 events starting from the first event of the selected start date.
● Finally, the app will display the date and time of its last update.

Many businesses now rely heavily on electronic calendar apps to manage increasingly complex schedules. With this relatively simple app, BluBoards can be used to publicly display events from a selected Google calendar to an audience. Additionally, the dynamic nature of the app allows for updates within the calendar to be “pushed out” to any number of BluBoards with the push of a button.

The underpinning of this app is provided by Google itself – the API for Google Calendar is publicly available, and keys can be generated by any user. (While this app is programmed in JavaScript, BluBoard is compatible with any scripting language; apps written in PHP are currently in the pipeline.) Once authorizations are established, the data is extracted, formatted, and displayed according to a CSS. Due to the limited amount of space to display information for each event, event descriptions are automatically elided after 35 characters. As a final step, BluBoard uses a web render app to control brightness, contrast, refresh time, and other aspects of the ePaper display.

As complex as this app may be behind the scenes, the user experience is very simple. On the start page, the user is asked for the relevant Gmail account, the name of the calendar to be displayed, and the starting date. With this information, the app has all it needs to gather, format, and display events on any number of BluBoards.

While this app can be used to replace any kind of conventional signage devoted to displaying events, the real power of BluBoard’s networking capability becomes apparent on a large scale. Imagine using the app to quickly change an entire convention center’s worth of event schedules, with regular updates throughout the day to reflect adjustments or cancellations. An office building could have each of its meeting spaces equipped with BluBoards displaying meetings planned for the day or week. With BluBoards, the possibilities are endless.

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