Prototyping and Physical Computing

When I have to Product Design...well kinda

So here is the concept, we want to create an alarm clock and not just any clock, but an emotional alarm clock. The clock allows you to snooze, however it is disappointed whenever you do and expresses this through its voice commands and of course tweets+ slack messages! If you wake up on time, the clock is happy and pleased and send you a message of encouragement on social media. This clock is called SnuzaLuza, why you ask? well you snooze, you lose……….get it ?

Nidhi and I started going through rapid prototyping technique such as using paper to just get an idea of how SnuzaLuza is going to look like. To do this effectively we had to look at what components were required to be in this clock to make it work:

– An arduino

– A Display screen

– A speaker

– buttons.



We decided to make it into a box shape as it would be easy to get the design ready and laser cut the box making it very simple to assemble. we decided to use different colours of perspex material for the box (1 white, 5 frosted) to enable us to include neo pixels that we can use to help express the alarm clocks emotions.

As we continued to look at potential material, we came across this interesting hover sensor that we could program with the arduino and use to control the clock.



(Getting the hover to work)


(connecting the hover to neo pixels to provide feedback)



(cardboard prototype)


As we decided to use the hover into our alarm clock, I decided to create a website that would be used to create the alarm clock. by visiting the user would be able to set an alarm and through NODE-RED and arduino the rest would happen just like magic. All the user has to do is hover around the alarm to snooze it or touch it to put it off.

The webiste was connected to my localhost using a mirrored temporary domain to which would then connect node red and the website together. In node red, the program would send the alarm clock time to the arduino and await responses on the serial monitor which would then let node red what to do, whether to tweet, update the website or snooze. Node red would then respond to the arduino and request it to play sounds from the mp3 trigger.


writing this in reflection is actually quite something as I cannot believe that I am able to do this, prior to this If I saw a system that worked this way, i would be amazed not imagining that I would be able to pull it off.