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Smart Alarm Clock - wake me early or wake me late because of something Answered


I came up with this idea the other day as I am new to long distance commuting on public transport and the winter season is upon us in the UK.  I hope this is posted in the right section.  I've loitered on instructables for a number of years but have never ventured into the forums.

Basically I get up in the morning with enough time for my normal morning routine and then leave the house by car to catch a train that runs every hour from my local train station.  The three main factors that effect me getting on the train to work.  1) Waking up on time, 2) the train actually running (it has been cancelled twice in the past 3 weeks) and 3) getting to the station on time.  

As I see it there are three variables to the situation.  The time to get up in order to catch the train if it is running - 1) more or less fixed but this could vary day by day, i.e. some days need to put bins out or perhaps take something extra which requires preparation.  2) The extra time taken in clearing ice from the car and driving more slowly to the station because of ice and snow - perhaps this needs to be variable too.  i.e. frost does not have an impact on driving conditions as much as deep snow.  3) Is the train running or late? If it's not running then get an extra hour in bed - for me I commute up to 5 hours a day so extra rack time is a bonus.

Basic Requirements
I think the clock should monitor outside temperature at least or get that information from the internet, in which case get more detailed data  
The clock should be relatively accurate, again we could use the internet for NTP or use a radio synced signal
The clock needs to be aware which train I take
The clock needs to know I don't go to work some days
The clock should need minimal user intervention to complete it's tasks
The clock should be mains powered with battery backup
The clock should be able to dim it's display at night but be viewable in bright interior room conditions - i.e. we don't need it readable in bright sunshine.
The clock shouldn't be too expensive to make.  

Specifically I have been thinking of using a spark.io and 4 8x8 displays as I happen to have these.  Thinking about this for only a short time I guess the clock would be more easily programmed via the web and in fact probably pull it's data from the internet.  Cycling power could be the basis to fetch new configuration so not user buttons should be required.

We would need to find services to get train information and very local weather information.
A service or server would need to be setup where the unit could check in.  Perhaps it would be simpler if this was the proxy for the train and weather information.

That's it for now.  I wanted to get my ideas in writing whilst throwing it out there for someone else to think about.  My thoughts are if you want to keep an idea to yourself then don't tell anyone - please feel free to do what you may with the information in this post.



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6 years ago

OpenWeatherMap offers a easy to use API for grabbing weather information (http://openweathermap.org/API). I used it in my night light project (https://www.instructables.com/id/Waking-Up-On-The-R... if you'd like to use some of that code to get started.

I don't know what you're train system is like, but mine has an API as well. If that fails, does the train system use Twitter to report delays? You could tap in to that as well.

You could do all this on an SBC quite easily (Raspberry Pi, Phidgets, BeagleBoard, etc).

I don't know if that answers your questions at all, but I hope it gets you off in some direction.

Good luck!