|47||DESKTOP PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT DEVICE (TIMETABLE)
|# Team Members:
- Ben Xie (bx3)
- Pranav Goel (pranavg4)
- Hongru Wang (hongru2)
High productivity is something many people try to achieve with little success. There are so many ways to get distracted with easy access to youtube, social media, etc. One basic step for improving productivity is to use To-Do List apps. However, these apps can be clunky to use, and often checking your to-do list can be a multi-step process. Because of that, it's super easy to forget to check the app or interact with it. In addition, having your to-do list hidden on your tablet or phone makes it much easier to ignore. Not only that, it's a quick way to get distracted again as going to other less productive apps is very easy to do. Oftentimes your working environment is also a big factor as to why your productivity output has decreased. Many people don’t even realize that something is wrong and simply continue pushing onwards. That’s why we think there needs to be a better way of keeping track of and displaying daily tasks along with something that checks if you are in a good environment for getting your tasks done.
We propose building a device that can be updated from a website or your phone that displays a running to-do list along with other useful information (temperature, sitting time, humidity) on an e-ink display. This provides a constant reminder of what needs to be done on your desk, making it easier to check, and more difficult to ignore. We chose an e-ink display because it's easy to read, cannot be easily ignored by the user, and doesn't require a powerful microcontroller. To further make sure that users don’t ignore the device, we are adding a speaker to play a sound that gets their attention. We also want users to be able to interact with the device physically so that we can further eliminate friction towards completing tasks (via buttons and a rotary encoder). RGB LEDs that visually indicate important information can be used as a quick way for users to intuitively interact with the device - whether it's selecting tasks, setting/using a timer for time management, or anything else that might be needed. Because it's on our desk, we can also integrate sensors to track time spent sitting, temperature, air quality, or any other environmental factors that might impact productivity. This information could be displayed via an LCD Screen (Since it requires higher responsiveness) next to the e-ink display, or simply be included in the e-ink display but only display information when something might be affecting your productivity. Specifically, instead of sending notifications to the website or phone, which can be ignored sometimes, we want to use an e-ink display to notify the users of upcoming tasks, whether the user needs to change the working environment based on the data from sensors that monitor temperature/humidity, and whether the user needs to have a rest based on the time the user spent on working. As a reach goal, we can make the device portable by using a dock to keep all the sensors and have the e-ink display detach from there. Users can then use the to-do list functionality on the go.
# SOLUTION COMPONENTS
## SUBSYSTEM 1 - POWER
The power subsystem must be able to supply enough power to the rest of the project, converting from 12 VDC to 5V DC (the 12V is supplied by a wall power plug). It should also protect the circuit from things like reverse polarity, unexpected voltages, etc. There are many DC/DC step-down regulators, so finding a specific component shouldn't be difficult.
## SUBSYSTEM 2 - MICROCONTROLLER
The Microcontroller Subsystem needs to be able to communicate with and operate the rest of the subsystems and needs to be powerful enough to drive the E-ink display. Currently, we are looking into using the ESP32 microcontroller because it includes BlueTooth/WiFi, and seems to be well-documented.
## SUBSYSTEM 3 - COMMUNICATION
The Communication subsystem must be able to connect with the internet over wifi, as well as connect over BlueTooth to our phone to set up the wifi passwords, etc. Also, we need to be able to reset everything in case the wifi drops out and we need to re-enter passwords, etc. This will be tightly integrated with the microcontroller subsystem because the ESP32 includes both wifi and BlueTooth capability.
## SUBSYSTEM 4 - UI/CONTROL
The control subsystem allows the user to physically interact with the device to delete/complete tasks, set timers, or whatever else we may need. Right now we plan on using buttons and a rotary encoder to select/delete tasks, set/use timers, and for anything else that might help us interface with the device. We will also need to develop a website that allows users to set tasks from their phone/computer. The web application is for users to add/delete/update tasks to the to-do list.
## SUBSYSTEM 5 - DISPLAY
The display subsystem mainly consists of a 7.5in e-ink/e-paper display driven over a 4-wire SPI by the microcontroller. It needs to be able to display a list of tasks, as well as any other info that we may want. Because 4-wire SPI e-ink displays often need multiple seconds to refresh and update, we also need to integrate RGB LEDs to display more time-critical information such as the currently selected task, and for the timer. This will also be driven by the microcontroller.
## SUBSYSTEM 6 - SENSING
The sensing subsystem needs to collect data about the working environment, such as the temperature, air quality, sitting time, etc. CO2 level, temperature/humidity data collected from sensors can let users know if that environment is ideal for productivity through the e-ink display. The motion sensor can be used to detect if the user isn’t present/active we can update the screen so they won’t notice. Specifically, with the motion-sensing data, we can determine the amount of time someone has been working at their desk and use a small speaker and/or LEDs to alert them if they have been working/sitting for too long. Since we are using a desktop device it would be simple to integrate into the actual project. It then needs to send that data to the microcontroller subsystem to display and publish that data to the user. We also need a light sensor to control the brightness of the LEDs so that they are not too bright and distracting to the user.
### Potential sensors:
- CCS811 - air quality
- RCWL-0516 - doppler motion sensor
- HC-SR501 - PIR sensor
- DHT-22 - temp/humidity
- Photoresistor - light sensor
# CRITERION FOR SUCCESS
- Users can connect the device to the internet
- Our task list updates via a website
- E-ink device successfully displays intended information
- Sensor data is taken, processed, and sent to the device and/or website
- Users can physically interact with the device and update information accordingly