George, do we really need this? In our house this is the task my wife has taken on. I don't think she likes it, but I wonder what she would do if we had one of these. Of course, you would have to have multiple devices because we would find a way to avoid it in our house.
A motion-triggered calendar could be great for anyone with short term memory loss due to disease, such as Alzheimer's, or brain damage from TBI, such as being near an explosion or repeated concussions.
But, like the earmuff headphones...is this Freak worthy? It seems that the new criteria is complex construction build process over innovation. Where's the "wow" factor?
I actually built this to take the burden of being the NAG in the house off of my wife at HER request. She said she doesn't want to feel like my mother always telling me not to forget this or not to forget that. She has to do that enough with our 3 kids :) . This device has actually helped me not forget the trash or recycling many times since we turned on. I was born without much short term memory and necessity is the mother of invention right?
As far as the "Wow" factor, I am still learning this stuff so I haven't been able to build what we actually envision this as being yet. It is supposed to turn into a wall mounted digital picture frame with a touchscreen. It will recognize the individual who walks by (courtesy kinect type profiling) and deliver specific messages that can all be set up and recorded using the touch screen. This would help it blend in instead of being an ugly black box hanging on the wall. Once the profiling capability is there, messages can be left for other individuals in the household. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I would hope that would have a little more kick?
Easier (in a sense) than developing the Kinect-style profiling would be to have you (and the wife and kids) "chipped" with RFID implants, which could easily and inexpensively be read when walking past the scanner/calendary. The technology and procedure are simple... convincing the other "subjects", maybe not so much.
Hi NadineJ, I think Gadget Freak projects are about individuals grapping stuff in their junk boxes and creating cool devices. Innovation is about creating a unique or cleaver solution through physical design improvement or a new assembly process. All of the projects thus far seem to illustrate innovation as well as creativity.
@ mrdon: I understand what GF is intending. But, lately, the gadgets are things that are already available in the market with nothing new offered. Like i said before. No 'wow' or 'why isn't that already on the market'.
If we're only celebrating the build process here, then things are status quo. I'd like to see something a little more interesting, as we have in the past.
Hi NadineJ, If I understand you correctly, you would like to so projects that are using innovative tech with a , "Why didn't I think of that?" appeal. If you could, please provide past Gadget Freak projects that had a WOW factor for my reference. Thanks!
I haven't seen anything that does what this does, otherwise I would have bought one. The proximity aspect separates this from a simple alarm or calendar. There is a "window" when the notification is active so if someone goes past, the device will alert them to what is pending. I don't know of any smartphone, PC, etc. that will do that. Placement will have a direct impact on how effective this is. Ours is located in the hallway leading to the bedrooms so that when I am checking out for the night it will catch me with the trash or recycling and when I am starting my day it will remind me that I need bring the stuff I need to return to the Home Depot.
Yikes! One should prerequisite rhino hide before posting here. So its a solution looking for a problem. If one iota of positive innovation gets passed along to the reminder modules that are being integrated into refrigerator doors, its done good. If inventing tinkerers keep wandering around in their domiciles maybe they will trip over the next universal labor saving device. And their significant others still keep reminding them the trash is waiting.
There is the Fridge that keeps track of the food. We need a detector for the garbage and recyclables. How about the bathroom when the tp and tooth paste is out or really low. My wife just does not get logistics. Then taking off the tool box. What is in the pantry? If I'm thinking of x meal are components in the house and where. The add a sniffer for spoiled food. Bring in the maintenance on the vehicles. One of my friends noted my gas motors and related being a slave to the maintenace.
lol, all good ideas! As I mentioned, this is as far as my technical ability has allowed me to go to date. I do intend upgrades, the first of which is allowing it to be programmed, and the recordings made, at the unit. This will go a long way towards the usability factor. This is not the end state we envisioned when we started building it, just as far as we have been able to get as of now. :)
I really do understand building things just for the sake of proving that you can, but outside of the challenge, what has this added to your life? I have a calendar, I have a clock and the trash goes out on Wednesday. The device is a cool toy, but other than the guy that has to own all of the latest, where would there be a market for this?
I really do forget things like taking out the garbage, the recycling, etc. I try to remind myself to bring things to work with me in the morning by setting them by the front door, but I just move them aside and leave without them anyway. This has actually helped remind me to take the trash to the curb as I am headed down the hallway towards the bedroom to crash for the night. The real vision for this is to be easily programmable with events right at the device instead of having to "code" events into the "sketch" and upload it to the arduino, but I haven't been able to figure out the programming necessary to write a file to the SD card and read it back as an event to be triggered yet. Once I get this going, it will be much more user friendly and will appear to be a digital picture frame that speaks to you to remember something when you are walking by instead of just at a preset time when you might not hear it. Additionally, I intend to have profiles using something like the kinect so it will recognize who is walking by and give a specific reminder for the individual. This way you can leave specific messages such as "happy anniversary" or "happy birthday" for an individual and not just everyone. At this stage, it is just a proof of concept that did work for our family, and using the kid's voices, doesn't annoy us.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.