The active alarm was inspired by our daily lives. We don’t think we could count the number of times we've run late because we just fall back asleep once we turn off our alarms.
What it Does
The goal of the active alarm clock is to force you to stay up even after you turn off the alarm. The active alarm clock is composed of two separate devices: the alarm clock and the pressure pad. You can place the alarm clock clock wherever you want, whether it’s next to your bed or on the other side of the room. You use the LCD screen and button interface on the alarm clock to set a wake up time (or the current time). The pressure pad should be placed under your pillow. At the given wake up time, the buzzer will go off. Once you deactivate the alarm (but pushing the main button), if you lie back down on your pillow, the pressure pad will notify the alarm clock that you’re still sleeping and the buzzer will continue to go off. Both of our devices are securely packaged in minimalistic yet aesthetically pleasing case.
Arduino Uno x2 LCD screen Buzzer ‘Sleek & Retro’ button interface Bluetooth Modules (master and slave)
The active alarm clock is comprised of two separate devices that communicate with each other via bluetooth . The first device, the alarm clock module, is the primary interface users interact with. The alarm clock module contains an Arduino Uno, an LCD screen (that displays the current time), a buzzer, and a button interface soldered onto a breadboard, and a bluetooth module. The LCD screen is connected to a backpack that reduces the number of pins needed to connected the screen to an arduino. We connected the backpack directly to the arduino power and input/output pins. We also connected the bluetooth module directed to the arduino. The buzzer is its own separate circuit composed of the buzzer itself and a 1-kΩ resistor. In order to make the buttons accessible to the user, we soldered a button interface and placed it on top of our case. The first button is used to set a time (and snooze, the second button is used to change the alarm time, and the third button is used to set the current time. Each button is connected to both a 1-kΩ resistor and a digital input to the arduino. The second device, the pressure module, contains the pressure pad and a bluetooth module used to communicate with the other arduino. The pressure pad is connected to a 1-kΩ resistor and an Arduino pin, while the bluetooth module (master) is connected directly to the arduino.
Problems we overcame
We had some issues sending over the data collected from the pressure sensor to the other Arduino via bluetooth because the arduino can only reliably send one character at a time. To overcome this issue, we mapped the recorded values to be between one and nine, and then transmitted the mapped number via bluetooth.
The Active Alarm Clock fulfills the consumers' needs to wake in a timely manner on a daily basis. Although our expected target audience is college students, anyone who needs to wake up on time will find our product useful. Whether you’re a parent who needs to get your child prepared for school or you’re the President of the United States and need to be awake for your morning daily briefing, we guarantee the Active Alarm Clock won’t let you fall back asleep.
What We've Learned
We’ve learned so much from designing the active alarm. It was a great opportunity to integrate coding skills with cool hardware and circuit design. Addressing the problem of sleeping in, and trying these different strategies to combat the problem with the materials and skills we had on hand was definitely a fun challenge. Specifically, we learned how to take advantage of Arduino libraries, design a simple UI, and use a simple display.