NewsGoogle’s Arduino-powered devices provide soothing signals

Google’s Arduino-powered devices provide soothing signals

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The world is full of devices that are trying to grab our attention whether it’s a computer that hums every time a new email arrives to phones bouncing every time an app attempts to promote something. If you’re anything like the majority of us you’ll find that the majority of these notifications are annoying. They are, however, necessary in many instances. To give more soothing signalling, Google turned to Arduino to create these unique devices.

The Little Signals can be described as one of the Google’s “Digital Wellbeing Experiments,” which are the latest technological ideas and prototypes that are designed to improve our lives rather than adding stress to them. The each Little Signals device has a unique method of alerting users of a digital event using “calm technology.” For instance, a Little Signals device gentle blows air over the leaves of a plant and could be a sign of the existence of a new email. A different device gently taps on a bottle of prescription to inform users that it’s the time to take their medicine.

Google will not sell this Little Signals devices, but they have released the source code to allow you could make your own. Each unit is powered by an MKR1000 wireless board that is used to help with its purpose. The device has six components that are included including Air, Button Motion, Rhythm, Shadow and Tap. Each of them has its own unique way to notify users, though they all share the same the same components. The download package contains STEP files to enable 3D printing, however it provides instructions for building the devices with common household items in the event that you don’t own the 3D printer.

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Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.