I came up with the idea for the study buddy while brainstorming better ways to study for my classes. I struggle with using my phone when I should be studying, and I have found that putting it out of sight is the best method to help me focus, properly budgeting my time has also proved beneficial. Combining these two elements inspired the device. I designed the Study buddy to accommodate multiple phones so it could be used in group study sessions as well.
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Step 1: Case
Version 1 of the Study Buddy uses a case laser cut from FoamCore. Simple and unremarkable, Foamcore proved easy to assemble and properly size.
Later versions will be made of sturdier and nicer material but anyone wanting to create their own can size their case and make it of whatever they choose. FoamCore proved a solid starting material for a first build, but later on Id like to try wood or 3D printing, and possibly cut designs into the case. I used MakerCase to size the box
Size specs (inches): L: 7 H: 4 W: 5
Step 2: Arduino
Crafting a proper code to work between the Arduino and NeoPixel was far simpler than I anticipated, I originally wanted to base my code off of one I found for a variable timer fog machine. I ended up being shown a far easier way to achieve the same results. The code I used is flexible enough to allow the user to adjust both Study and Break cycles to their own preferences, as well as set different colors for both, to personalize the device.
Future code would take this a step further by potentially add more complex functions such as deeper variation in the different types of blocks, a function to interface with chargers (active only during Study blocks?) and other pieces I may add to the device going forward.
Step 3: Lights, Computer, Action!
Finally, the pieces come together to form the Study Buddy. A Neopixel allows the user to easily check whether they are in a Study or Break block without breaking concentration. The Case is designed to both be portable and hold multiple phones , meaning one or more users can operate the device with ease. The Study Buddy's purpose is to further streamline the studying process, by removing the phone as an element of distraction.
Step 4: Review
I'm satisfied with this Version 1 of the Study buddy. Going forward, I'd like to add new complexities to the device and new offshoots, such as chargers and potentially a lock on the case to limit access only in study blocks. I'd also like to fashion the device out of a nicer and sturdier material.