Introduction: Noteu - Important Alerts at a Glance
What is Noteu?
Please click below to visit our Kickstarter page to learn more and if its of interest to you pre-order a production model.
Please see the video for a clear demineralisation of what Noteu and I'm all about.
Noteu is one of the first customizable, hackable real-time display that keeps you updated in life, social media and business. Instead of needing to check multiple websites, apps or open any windows Noteu tells you what you need to know at a glance all in one place. With its easy to use software compatible on Windows, Mac and Linux you can choose amongst a wide range of updates and alerts with huge customization. Noteu is designed for the everyday user however is extremely hackable being Open Source and launched with Java API's for you programmers to interface and display whatever you will.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: The Case
The orange case is 3D printed form ABS and feels sturdy as well as looking good on a desk.
We have made many prototypes using different techniques such as vacuum forming to achieve different surface finishes.
However 3D printings availability and versatility make it a primary choice.
This case is a two part design that snaps together nicely and uses USB to connect it to the computer and an LCD to display alerts and real-time events to the user.
CAD files have been attached for you to use at your own disposal.
Step 2: The Circuit
My prototype circuit can be split into two parts. The Atmega328 microcontroller which has its job of interfacing with the LCD and the usb to serial adapter which connects it to the computer. The production board for Noteu will be professionally manufactured by a PCB manufacture in China .
The Arduino Uno/Duemilanove boards use the same microcontroller and have a build in usb to serial converter to connect them to your computer. You can use an Arduino board to replace building the circuit from scratch. Noteu uses a 16x2 LCD and a piezo beeper to display and alert notifications to you. You can connect an LCD and a piezo beeper to your Arduino board pretty easily and start displaying things right away!
Arduino provide a great guide for setting your Arduino up with an LCD.
Arduino page on setting up LCD's: http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/LiquidCrystal
Cheep LCD's : http://www.ebay.com/itm/1602-16x2-Character-LCD-Di...
Piezo beepers can be found at almost any electronic retailer.
Step 3: Programming...
Through backing us at Kickstarter you can get your own Noteu as well as easy to use software to set it up with everything around you or use API's if your a programmer.
This is the part that takes a lot of work.
The Arduino board must be programmed to accept text via serial and then display it to the LCD. Then serial text can be sent to the Arduino board and its then displayed onto the LCD. A set of commands can be associated with certain functions. For example the Arduino can be programmed to whenever serial text equal to '-' clears the LCD display and '*' turns the beeper on for 50ms. After assigning text to functions you can fully control the LCD and the beeper from serial text which can be send from almost any programming language.
You can use Arduino's serial prompt to send serial and control the device and display anything you want which is pretty cool.
I have attached an Arduino sketch which allows you to control your LCD and beeper through serial commands that can be send via the Arduino's serial prompt.
After you have control over the LCD from your computer you have to build a program to now interface with it. You could use processing at processing.org which is an easy to follow language like Arduino you can experiment around with to build all sorts of GUI applications and interface with the device via serial. If you want to display say your recent emails you need to build a program that checks your unread email count for example from Gmail say every second and when it changes it retrieves your latest email and displays it.
However this can be very daunting...
Within the production model we are building an application that can be used by anyone compatible on windows, linux and mac to interface with Noteu and everything you want to display. This includes things in life such as weather updates, social media such as twitter mentions and Facebook messages and finally business such as emails and your recent paypal transaction.
We are also releasing Java API's and the serial protocol so you can interface with Noteu how you will if your more of a programmer and want to use it for customized purposes.
To build a program to interface with say twitter and then Noteu is a lot of work and we are currently in development of a program that can do all this for you. Though Kickstarter you can pre-order a Noteu and that helps us get past the high initial costs barrier and take Noteu to production and of course put a Noteu in your hands for you to use!
We appreciate and will put in endless hours to satiety every backer.