PRE2020 3 Group7
When you are studying you sometimes forget an important meeting, because you are deeply focused on your materials. Also, sometimes you need a little motivation to start studying. To solve that problem we are going to develop a clock that displays your agenda. This allows for users to get a clearer overview of their daily planning. The clock will also take your study/work time into its planning, and, of course, your spare time. It also gives you a push notification when you need to start studying in the form of a motivational message.
So far, we have brainstormed about multiple extra fucntions that could be added in the future. Firstly, there is evidence that environmental lighting conditions influence concentration. Secondly, there is evidence that student concentration spikes and lowers during their activities.
Ideally, it could check the activity of the user's phone during work hours and shut down certain distractors if it is used too much. It is also possible to use a webcam to check whether the user is working with the necessary focus and send a notification if this is not sufficient (should be looked at with privacy regulations).
|Wouter de Vries||Computer Sciencefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||Psychology & Technologyemail@example.com|
|Joep Obers||Mechanical Engineeringfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jens Reijnen||Psychology & Technologyemail@example.com|
|Erick Hoogstrate||Mechanical Engineeringfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|1||Choose a subject||All|
|Literature research for the problem statement and SotA||All|
|2||What should the robot look like||All|
|What should the robot be able to do||All|
|Make a survey||Jens & Ilana|
|Make a first sketch of the idea||Joep|
|4||Gather survey responses||All|
|Analyse survey responses||Jens & Ilana|
|Put the raspberry together and install the basics||Wouter & Joep|
|Look at how to plot a clock in python||Erick|
|Look at how to extract an agenda in python||Joep|
|5||Transfer data from agenda to clock||Erick & Joep & Wouter|
|Make small slices from the clock||Erick & Joep & Wouter|
|Implement code on raspbery pi||Erick & Joep & Wouter|
|Implement research from the survey||Jens & Ilana|
|6||Make a code that combines the clock and agenda||Erick & Joep & Wouter|
|Complete the literature on the wiki||Jens & Ilana|
|Make code that can make appointments for studying||Erick & Joep & Wouter|
|Look on how to connect philips hue to rpi||Erick & Joep|
|Research into Philips hue colour temperatures||Ilana|
|7||Add digital clock option (14 hours)||All|
|Finish the program (18 hours)||Erick & Joep & Wouter|
|Finish the interface (8 hours)||All|
|Do a user test (12 hours)||All|
|Make video of prototype + editing (6 hours)||All|
|8||Finishing touch to the interface (10 hours)||All|
|Work on the report (5 hours)||All|
|Do a user test (12 hours)||All|
|9||Finish the report (6 hours)||All|
|Hand-in report (15 minutes)||All|
As students, we have been working from home due to Covid-19 for over a year, which has been causing drastic changes in our freedom for months. The consequences are noticeable in many areas but primarily in the psychological well-being of the public. Since working and studying from home has become the norm, students report feelings of loneliness, less (study) motivation and less concentration. When no fun distractions can take place anymore and everyday seems a repetition of the day before, it is hard to stay productive, or happy in general. Therefore, it is important that we come up with a device that will keep people motivated to study and work from home, but due to time limitations we will focus on students. It has been said that sticking to a set schedule is helpful when working from home, but in practice this is not that easy. It could be beneficial for students to have some help with this. Help in making an executable and achievable week schedule with clear distinctions between work/study and relaxation. Additionally, the students should be made aware of their social media/phone use in order to keep them focused and not distracted.
The approach to this project is as follows. Firstly, a literature study will be conducted to find multiple points that can influence or enhance concentration while studying. This might also help increase the understanding of which distractions are most common while studying. Secondly, a survey will be held. This survey is used to confirm the findings from the literature. Furthermore, if the data is gathered from actual students, it will contain practical problems that might not emerge from literature alone. In the meantime, the first bit of code and a very early prototype could be created. After all the data has been evaluated, the prototype can be finished (until further notice). A user-study/usability test will now be conducted to investigate how helpful the product truly is. As a finishing touch, the prototype or code may need to be adapted, dependent on the user tests.
Students want to achieve their degree. In order to achieve it they need to study a lot, which can be very hard in the wrong environment. Therefore they require a stimulating study environment, but also after studying a place to relax and let go of all the stress.
- The product displays an analog clock on the screen.
Without this function our product would simply not work, so this has a very high priority.
- The clock reads the agenda items of the user.
This is a basic funtion of the product, it has very high priority.
- The agenda items of the user are displayed on the clock in colors on the time when they are set.
Many people responded in the survey stating that they would like the clock to display their daily planning in the background, similar to a pie-chart. This has been given a high priority.
Some participants prefered to see only the current item and some indication about the next item. This will be added as an option, but with medium priority.
- The user can connect their agenda to the clock by entering their agenda URL.
This function is essential in getting our design working and making it user-friendly. It has very high priority.
- The clock will automatically show the correct time and agenda items after being turned off and on again.
If the user has to import their agenda manually every time they boot up, e.g. after unplugging, that would be quite a hassle. User-friendliness is a key point, so we give this high priority.
- The product has a digital clock below the analog clock.
According to our survey, most people want the ability to be able to switch between a digital and an analog clock. Our priority is to make a functional prototype in this course, so we will only add this if we have spare time (priority is low).
The respondents in our survey seem to slightly prefer a digital clock over an analog clock, but most people prefered to see a pie-chart-like design regarding the colours. We therefore decided to make an analog clock, but put a digital clock on the interface as well (see: current status of the prototype). This seems relatively important, so we gave it medium priority.
- The screen displays the agenda items next to clock
Very few respondents to the survey stated that they did not need for the clock to display the name of the agenda item. This question originally considered the name to be in the area of the 'slice' in the clock. Due to screen size it is also possible to display a list with all the items on the side. We give this medium priority, because it is not essential in our design despite being a nice quality-of-life improvement.
- The user can give their desired color to agenda items in which they will be displayed on the clock.
Inside the agenda app, agenda items already have a colour, this should suffice to discriminate agenda items. The user also has the option to change this on their phone. This function is therefore not a necessity. We give it low priority.
- The clock changes the room's lighting according to preset keywords.
Warmer or colder light can enhance concentration of a student. In the survey, participants answered that changing lighting on the warm-cold spectrum to match the activity at hand might be a good idea.
There were, however, also quite some respondents who stated that they did not deem that necessary or they could always do that manually. This leads to believe that this is not a vital function and should be given low priority.
- The speakers of the clock can set off an alarm sound for certain agenda items.
In the survey, more than 90% of the participants seemed to like an alarm function for this device. Furthermore, many participants liked to get an alert when they needed to start preparing for their next agenda item, this can be done through an alarm function. The alarm clock does not seem very important in our design, but due to the demand for alerts we will give it medium priority.
- The clock plans breaks in study/work time.
Taking in breaks regularly is very important to be able to keep working efficiently. Ideally, this device would be able to learn how long the user can work before needing a break. Creating code for this is very difficult and likely beyond the scope of this project. This will get very low priority.
However, if the user were to tell the clock how long they want to work and how long they want their breaks to be, it seems possible. This is, however, not essential so it is give low priority.
- If any time is left in this project, it would be nice to do a user study. This really helps in gaining insights about the application and usefulness of this device. It might be possible to update our prototype afterwards based on this real-life data. This is something that has to be done at a very late point in the process, so we give it low priority.
- Literature study (week 1&2)
- Survey creations and analysis of results (week 3)
- Sketch of the idea (week3)
- Picking up all the parts for the project (week 4)
- Setting up the Raspberry Pi so that it can be operated through wifi (week 4)
- Creating code for a simple clock (week 4)
- Creating code to extract an agenda and import it to our clock (week 5)
- A functional prototype (week 6)
- Creating a presentation of our prototype (week 7)
- Creating the actual presentation (week 7)
- Do some user tests (week 7&8)
- Finishing the wiki (week 8)
- user analysis
- complete wiki page
- (optional) user tests
- Create a product that will reduce problems students are facing in times of studying from home. According to our survey, the problems that have to be overcome are lack of motivation, easily distracted and struggles to stick to a planning.
- Conduct research about what functions and looks such a device should have according to students and find out whether there would be interest in a device that we will prototype.
- Create a prototype of the idea and test this with users to get feedback on the design, after which small alterations can be made to improve.
The main users of this device will be students. In times of the Covid-19 pandemic lots of students are forced to study from home. For some, this has caused motivation and concentration problems and struggles with maintaining/creating a good planning. The goal of our project is to make a device that helps students in maintaining a clear overview of their tasks and help them in study planning. To gather information about the problems students are facing while working/studying from home, a survey study has been done among 85 students in the age of 17-27 years.
A device such as our study clock will benefit society in terms of education. The more and the better students stick to their study tasks the less guidance has to be given by professors and teachers and the less study delay will have to be covered.
USE case, How our product would work in the future
Effects of lighting
There has been done a lot of research on the influence of lighting on humans.
Medical and biological research has shown that light entering the human eye has both visual as non-visual biological effects on the human body. Good lighting can have a positive effect on health, well-being, alertness and sleep quality. For many years, scientists considered cones and rods to be the only photoreceptors in the eye, until Berson et al. (2002) discovered a third type of photoreceptor in the retina of mammals. This photoreceptor regulates non-visual biological effects, such as body temperature, circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle), heart rate, cortisol production (stress), melatonin production and alertness. The sensitivity of this specific photoreceptor also varies for different wavelengths of light. The curve of both the cones and the biological action curve can be seen in the figure below. When comparing these two curves it is clear that the biological sensitivity is different from the visual sensitivity.
Now, what are the non-visual biological effects that are regulated by the third photoreceptor?
First of all, it sends signals to our biological clock. When the light comes up in the morning, cortisol levels increase and the body gets ready for the day. Gradually the cortisol levels decrease during the day, getting to a minimum at midnight. The sleep hormone melatonin decreases in the morning and increases the moment it gets dark, causing sleepiness. It is important that these rhythms are not disrupted. Therefore, it is important to maintain the right light levels during the day. Additionally, it has been found that high light levels (1700 lux) have and alerting influence on the central nervous system which causes a better concentration and increases productivity. This is something that would be beneficial to implement in a interactive clock design to increase work/study productivity.
Another research paper by Hoffman et al. (2008) looks into the qualitative and quantitative aspects of workplace illumination. The study investigated the impact of different lighting conditions on sulphatoxymelatonin and subjective mood in an experimental office accommodation. Results of this study show an increase in alertness and speed of information processing when working under more blue light as compared to yellow light.
In an ideal situation the lighting conditions would change according the picture below. A warm colour temperature when waking up and a cool blueish white light as an energizer to start the day or do a workout. When you have to work or study the light should change to concentration mode, a cool white light that helps you focus on your tasks. Towards the end of the day it is time to relax, in order to give your body the rest it deserves the light should gradually become warmer. A comfortable lighting environment to read a book or relax on the couch and get ready for a good night of sleep to get ready for the next day,
Time tracker is a software that is used to keep track of the way people spend their day. The user turns on the clock, gives the activity a name and at the end of the day both the user themself and their employer have a clear overview of what has been done. This program also has Google Calendar integration, which means that the names of their activities are taken from the Calendar, while the employee still has to time everything with the time tracker add-on.
|Clear interface||Does not help the user manage their appointments|
|User can name activities themself||Cannot extract nature of activity (paid or unpaid) from Calendar|
|Employer gets an overview of what all of their employees do during their day||Timer must always be started manually|
- Things to take home
- Our device should try to recognize the nature of the activity automatically
- This app requires manually starting the timer to track the activity. If we compare it to our device, our device should track which activity is on-going automatically.
Alarm Clock for Google Calendar
This Play store app is used to keep up with planning. It has Google Calendar integration, which it uses to determine when to give notifications. Specifically, it will alert the user of every item in their Google Calendar by giving an alarm similar to the alarm clock function of a smartphone. Most settings are customisable within the app.
|Alarms are very difficult to miss because you have to manually turn them off||Only works with Google Calendar|
|Works with all calendars that are linked to your Google Calendar||Does not use a widget to get an overview of the day|
|Multiple settings increase quality of life for the user||Automatically turns on alarms for every agenda item (which is redundant and obnoxious)|
- Things to take home
- Notifications of important agenda items could be assigned to need some kind of feedback before turning off the alarm. This seems to be very complicated, so we will not add this in our prototype yet
- Do not set an alarm for every agenda item to be the default
Pomofocus is an app that works on desktop and mobile browser and helps you focus on any tasks you have to work on. This could for example be, studying, writing or coding. This app is inspired by the a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo, called the Pomodoro Technique. This technique uses a timer to break down work in intervals of, traditionally 25 minutes, separated by short breaks. The app lets you add tasks to work on that day and asks for an estimation of pomodoros (1 pomodoro = 25 minutes of work), after which you can start the timer and get to focus on the task for 25 minutes. After these 25 minutes an alarm clock will ring and you get to take a small break for 5 minutes. This will then be repeated for the set amount of pomodoros.
|Customizable timer with intervals that suit your preference||Having to add all tasks yourself|
|Audio notifications at the end of set timer period||Having to start each timer manually|
- Things to take home
- Plan in short breaks often
Amazon Echo Show
This is the first ever ‘smart alarm clock.’ The Amazon Echo functions as any regular alarm clock would, it shows the time, the date, it rings an alarm when you need to get up, and more. This alarm clock has an interface that is equal to that of a smartphone and it has Amazon’s Alexa installed. This means that it can keep your agenda/calendar, look up recipes, make a video call with your friends or family and many more.
|Alexa voice assistant installed||Microphone is always on|
|Much more functionality than you average alarm clock (e.g. Netflix, video calls, smart home controls)||Emits a lot of blue light, which is not good for sleep|
|Customisable 'home screen'||Small|
- Things to take home
- A voice assistant seems nice for the user, but we decided that this is redundant for our prototype.
- Users prefer a lot of room for customisation. We should add an extensive menu to our product.
- Watch out for settings to use in the evening (less blue light, lower brightness, etc.)
Automatic time tracking app Timely offers a comprehensive overview of your overall productive performance – not just the bits you choose to time in segments. While you can choose to start a manual tracker on a task as a psychological motivator, it will capture everything you work on for you, and assign time to your different projects automatically.
You can see everything you work on from a secure private timeline – useful for working out how long different tasks take you, as well as identifying processes and low-value tasks that distract your focus and take you away from important high-value work. It essentially holds up a mirror to the way you work, showing when you’re most focused and where your productivity naturally peaks. Using AI it can also translate all your data into accurate time sheets for you, as an added bonus if you need to report or bill for your work.
|Takes entire productive performance into account||Shows when you are (in-)active but does not help you with it|
|Manual optional timer|
Dewo is a productivity timer for those who want to understand the quality of their performance and learn how to improve it – not just track chunks of time. It automatically tracks everything a user works on in the background, and uses artificial intelligence to help surface interesting productivity stats and performance analysis. Users can dip in and out at any point to measure their productive performance over time, see where and when they are most focused and identify unproductive behaviors consuming their time.
Users can also start “Focus Sessions” whenever they want to concentrate deeply on a task without distraction. This mutes all their web and desktop app notifications to protect their focus for the duration of the session. Once they finish a session, users can review performance insights to see how they did – from how many times they switched context, to which work apps they used the most.
An online survey is made using google forms. After some demographical questions, students are asked about their experiences and preferences concerning working/studying from home, using Likert-scale, to get a general idea about their needs. Afterwards they are asked about their opinion on our general idea, to see whether their needs and our expectations are in line. These questions will help us making choices for the design in order to fulfill the needs of the end users.
The full survey can be found here: https://forms.gle/vjDVp6oWTFR5Vjkt6
This survey was distributed among friends and acquaintances of the researchers. In total there were 85 respondents, of which 56 male and 29 female, with an age between 17 and 27 years. In the responses on participant's experiences and preferences concerning working/studying from home we found some important problems. On the question 'When I'm studying, I get easily distracted' 52.9% of the respondents agreed and 27.1% even strongly agreed. Additionally, almost 65% struggles staying motivated while studying and more than half of the participants struggle to make and keep up with a clear planning. However, 76.4% answered they like to set goals for themselves while studying.
These answers show that the majority of the respondents have problems with studying/working from home and could use some help for these problems.
In the following pie-charts the responses on the project-related design questions are displayed.
The dataset of all the responses can be found here.
After answering the question on interest in the invention the people where asked to explain why or why not they would be willing to buy such a device in an open question. The responses of all people who answered they were interested in the device can be seen below.
|Responses of people willing to buy a study-clock|
|* I think it could really help me study better and more active|
|* It could help me with my studying and concentration levels.|
|* Als het me helpt om te plannen en zorgt voor motivatie en structuur|
|* Because I am currently unable to keep track of everything that is due, a clock like this would help. However, it could also cause a lot of stress and should maybe have a setting where you can turn off the agenda setting.|
|* It might be motivating to know for how long i’m supposed to be studying, and help to prevent procrastinating|
|* I think it can help me to keep up with my schedule|
|* Because I'm looking for tools to improve my productivity. Id give it a try|
|* Because in my house it is almost always too dark and maybe such a device can help me to be more concentrated during studying|
|* I think it would be of great use|
|* It seems handy to just have an ‘agenda’ like that on the wall so you can see what you have to do at any time. An agenda inside a phone or physical agenda requires more time and effort, and doesnt help saying when you got to shift to a next part of your planning. A countdown timer seems like a great feature.|
|* Could help me stay focused an plan better|
|* It seems a cool idea and it might help me stick to a planning|
|* It might give some overview i am currently lacking. I also tend to forget what I wanted to do.|
|* It seems beneficial and inventive.|
|* Because it helps me with studying|
|* It would be usefull to have an item which can help you keep up with your agenda without having to grab you phone and seeing all sorts of distractions|
|* Nice thing to have if cheap|
|* Helps me stay motivated|
|* It takes out some stress, I think, because it could alarm me when I should prepare for something I forgot|
|* To keep track of my plans for the day and to help me motivate myself to continue working|
|* Because it helps with your daily things|
|* It seems useful enough in a time where almost everyone struggles to find much motivation or structure in their life|
|* Simply for convenience, and short time interval planning enforces concentration since you'll feel like there is no time for procrastination.|
|* To help me manage my time|
|* It helps me motivate to study and reduces stress when it is a planning|
|* Could give me a clear view of what I should be doing at that time without always checking my agenda and helps stay focussed more easily.|
|* Improve planning|
|* Cause I struggle with planning and motivation, it is hard to keep in your study rhythm.|
|* Could be pretty handy|
|* It would help me to keep a nice overview of my tasks without being overwhelming and help me to remain focused on my tasks|
|* Maybe it would motivate me to keep up with my planning|
|* Its a clock and agenda in one device, and regulates your meetings/planning|
|* It seems like an easy way to keep a clear overview of your day, without having to constantly grab your agenda. I also think this device could help me with a planning if it tells my how much study time I have left|
|* Handy way to see calendar|
|* I like the idea and since the influences of light on concentration and vitality are promising it seems like a useful tool.|
|* I really struggle with the studying in current conditions and would welcome the opportunity of improvement.|
|* Since I am a student that needs a useful and handy way to look at my agenda without having to pull it up on my phone or computer.|
|* It can help me schedule my tasks|
|* Because I have some struggle with time management, sometimes|
|* It reminds the agenda better than a human brain|
|* It allows me to get an overview of my daily task in one glance|
|* It might help in terms of organizing and staying on track with your schedule|
|* As it is Innovative|
|* I want to try everything that possible helps my study|
- More than half of the participants stated that they wanted the clock to be able to change between an analog and a digital interface. From the people who did not choose this option, the majority stated to prefer a digital clock over an analog one. We conclude that people like customizability, but they do prefer a digital over an analog clock.
- Almost all participants (> 90%) stated that they would like an alarm function on this clock.
- Regarding which agenda items to show, almost no participants wanted the device to show ‘only their current agenda item’. The other options were divided rather equally, with ‘my current agenda item and alert me when I need to start preparing for the next’ being slightly less liked. We can conclude that we should display multiple agenda items.
- More than 50% of our participants stated that they would like to see the names of their current and next agenda item on the display. 96.5% would like to see at least their current agenda item on-screen. We conclude that we should include at least the current and the next agenda item (76.4%) in text and we should verify how that looks.
- More than 60% of the participants seem to like the idea that the clock can adapt your environmental lighting to match the activity you are engaging in. 57.6% of all participants would like to see it change on a warm-cold scale, where 8.2% wants it to match the colour of the display. Since 31.8% dislikes this idea, or at least considers it redundant, we conclude that we should not take the 8.2% into account and just go with the warm-cold scale. We decide that including this option is still great, since connecting to the user’s lighting system is optional anyway.
For a first design idea, we came up with a 7-inch display that can be fitted on your desk. What the specifications are for this particular design will be determined in a later stadium. For now, we want to show what the design will look like.
In this figure, you see the first design we had in mind. When you have sufficient free time at a specific moment the clock will schedule study time for you. It will also display your appointments so you have a quick overview of your day. When the clock passes the hour it will automatically update to 12 hours later, for instance from 01:00 to 13:00. This could be altered in the future and depends on what the user prefers. Since some users prefer a digital over an analog clock, the design will include both. This function can be switched on or off in the settings.
For the first prototype, we looked at different designs for clocks. Eventually, we landed upon the design which can be seen in Figure 2. This design has numbers that indicate the time and has clear clock hands.
For the adapted design we made all the background colors white, to give it a more professional appearance. Removed the second hand and moved the numbers outside the clock. The numbers have been moved outside the clock to make it easier to color in the pie slices on the clock without the numbers disappearing.
However, there have been some problems with getting it to work on the raspberry pi. At this moment it is unclear what the problem exactly is.
The most recent version of the clock can be seen in figure 4. This design has been updated to fit correctly on the raspberry pi's screen. For this, every aspect had to be moved by hand since all the components were positioned based on the pixels. In addition to this, I made a function that divides the clock into slices based on the input (time division) that you give. For now, it can only divide the slices into equal parts and it will start with dividing from the top(12).
The code has been completed that divides the clock into different slices. It has been done slightly differently compared to the method used in figure 3 because that method would not allow the slices to be colored in. The function that I wrote gives you the option to set the duration, an integer, the start time, a number on the clock, 1,2,3,4, etc. (btw. you can either fill in 12 or 0 if you want to start from the top both should work) and lastly, you can choose the color you want the slice to be. Finally, the border is updated again to hide any overlap of the colored slices with the border itself.
To add the title of each activity on the clock we decided to move the clock to the left of the screen and add the legenda to the right of it.
As can be seen in figure 7, the legenda has been added. If you add a new activity it will automatically add it to the clock and to the legenda. It is also possible to start activities at any time instead of only the numbers on the clock (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12).
The last addition to the clock was the addition of the digital clock. This can be seen in figure 8. This option can be turned on or off depending on the preference of the user and is a result of our survey study.
Retrieve agenda from Google Calendar
For the clock to work we needed to retrieve the Google Calendar from the internet. In order to do this, we found a program that is able to so, with a bit of finetuning. In order to run the code, a few packages needed to be installed. One of them is the api google client. This is done using pip install, but the code still did not work afterward. We tried for a few hours and different solutions, but nothing worked. We ultimately found one solution that worked, which was to install the modules in the same folder as the .py file. This made that one working file quite large and the correct file could not be found anymore. We then tried running the code on a laptop instead of on the pi. On the laptop it did work. After a while, we found out that the pip install function installed the module for Python 2.7 and we used Python 3.8. This was fixed by using pip3 install function which installs the modules for Python 3. Even though this looked promising, it still did not work. The modules were apparently installed for python 3.5 and not for 3.8, so that still gave errors. This last part was fixed easily by using the pip3.8 install function, which installed the modules for python 3.8. These modules worked and thus the code finally worked. Now we could configure a Google account to retrieve the agenda from. We created a test account, email@example.com. Now we have a nice array of appointments in Python, which we can continue our work with.
Now we needed to write a code that could communicate with the Philips hue. This function works with the help of the bridge you get with the hue set. The program work in a way that tells the bridge what to tell the lamps. First, we needed to find the IP address of the bridge, this can be done by looking into your router. When you found it you can call color, saturation, and brightness with the code we made. In the code, we added a function that translates hex color codes to RGB values which can be entered in the pi since we did not have an overview of the Philips hue values. Now you can set the color with a hex code and the brightness with a number between 0-254. There are also some pre-set functions made to call when we want to implement this code inside the main code in the future. One is for reading, between cold and warm white. One is for studying which is cold white. And one is for relaxing which is warm white.
As a result of the survey, we also included an alarm function. This alarm function is really easy as it only consists out of one function. When you call this function a sound will be played that you can select beforehand. To get an actual sound output from the device itself a speaker had to be connected to the raspberry pi, since the raspberry pi does not have sound output from itself. We will be using the main code, based on the agenda, to call the alarm function.
Status of the prototype
We only needed to order two parts for this project, which are a Raspberry pi (3B+) and a (7-inch touch) screen to display the clock. First, we put the different parts together, then installed Raspbian on the pi so we could use it. The pi was running in no time and the screen worked perfectly. We thought that the touchscreen would require special drivers or programs but this was not the case. Now the base setup was done.
After this, we set up a remote connection with the use of VNC Viewer. This is done so every team member can work on the pi from home without having the pi at home. When the remote connection was set up. A virtual keyboard should be installed. This is needed for later use if you want to type anything using the touch screen.
The only problem now is that the screen does not stand on itself therefore brackets were made so the screen can actually stand on your desk. The angle on which it stands is not definite and could be changed in the future since the most convenient angle should be determined.
To explain what the code does, we'll break it down into small pieces. These are:
The clock, together with the agenda, are the biggest parts of this program. The coding for the clock is based on the built-in python library called "turtle" in addition to this it makes use of the built-in time module of the raspberry pi to keep track of time and day. The code creates a screen on which the so-called turtles can draw. First, the edge of the clock is made. Then the hour and minute hands are drawn based on the local time of the raspberry pi. A circle is also drawn in the middle of the clock, this should give an illusion that the hands are fixed at this point. Then the numbers 1-12 are drawn around the edge of the clock to make it easier to read the clock. Then there is a function that draws the digital clock if it is desired by the user. Here, too, the internal clock of the raspberry pi is used, with the difference that the digital clock uses a 24-hour clock while the analog clock naturally uses a 12-hour clock. Then there is a function that makes so-called "slices" of the clock, which can be seen in figure 7, among others. This function requires a duration, start time, color, text (subject of the activity) and whether it should already be drawn on the clock or not yet. Once this function has made a "slice" on the clock it will automatically call the function legend and the activity will be added to the legend right on the screen, also shown in figure 7. A clock that does not work is not a real clock. therefore there are two functions that adjust the hands on the clock to show the correct time. Finally, the edge of the clock is redrawn to hide the excess of coloring.
As mentioned earlier the alarm function is really easy as it only consists out of one function. When you call this function a sound will be played that you can select beforehand. To get this to work we made use of the python module called 'pydub'. To get an actual sound output from the device itself a speaker had to be connected to the raspberry pi, since the raspberry pi does not have sound output from itself. We will be using the main code, based on the agenda, to call the alarm function.
The full (commented) code can be found here:
**Insert zip file of code here**
Setting up the test
For this project, we also did a user test. This means that we gave the prototype to someone to test it for a few days. The feedback we get from this could be very useful. In order to make the test also include the use of the Philips hue lamp, we provided one light bulb with the prototype. First, we went to the house of the person we did the user test and set up the device. This took a moment to log in to the wifi network. When this was done we could set up the agenda. This is done by running the code for the first time and create the credentials for the pi, so it can log in after the first time. This had to be done manually. When the agenda was set up we still needed to set up the hue. Therefore we needed to provide internet to the Philips hue bridge. The bridge connects the pi to the light bulb. When this is done we need to find the IP address of the bridge. Looking at the modem we found it. Then the pi can talk to the bridge via the internet. So now some pc speakers are connected to the pi to make the alarm function work.
Now the device is set up and we explained how it works. After which the user could use it.
The user tested the prototype now for 3 days. The main point the user had was that the device is very useful to maintain your planning although you still need to make it yourself every morning.
He told that the device works best if you plain you hole day in the morning and then run the code. Because as it is programmed now the pie chart only updates when you run the code. So the user told that he planned his whole day in the morning and then ran the code. Then he could work very focused when it is needed. When studying at home is was also very useful that the color of the light changes he said. Because when you are very focused you may not look at the clock he said. But if then the light changes you still notice that you need to relax or get back at studying.
He also had some points for improvement. So is one point to make a switch to switch off the screen. When you want to use it as an alarm then the screen is shining in your room at night. So the user unplugged the clock at night. So the alarm function was not tested properly. He also pointed out that the pie chart does not update so at 8 o clock in the evening he has to run the code again since the appointments after that time were not updated. He starts his day around 8 therefore this specific time. So this should be implemented as future development. For the rest, he was very positive over the clock. On the questions, if he would buy this device and how much he would pay for this were his answers yes and around €150,-. This is because it helped him to keep track of his planning actively. The 150 was because it was also very cool technology, and he likes cool gadgets. But he also stated he would only do this after the ‘issues’ stated above were fixed.
When we told that the device should be able to plan your study time and break most efficient between your appointments, with a beforehand set range of lunchtime and dinner time. For instance, I want to lunch between (12-00 and 13:30 with a duration of 30 minutes). The clock can plan it such that you have the most efficient day and break times. He answered to that point that he would definitely see that in the future and that it would be very helpful for students and maybe even for working people. He also pointed out that maybe in the future this device could come with updates as your phone. So you can start with having proper planning, and the automated planning functions come along over time.
So as a conclusion the most important improvements in the prototype are:
- You should be able to shut down your screen, while the clock still works(stand-by)
- The pie chart should update automatically over time. So that always the appointments from the next 12 hours are on the chart
As for useful tips for the future:
- Work with updates over time.
This section will discuss ideas that we came up with that could be implemented in such a device in the future, but this is all outside of the scope of this course.
This device can connect to a camera or webcam on the user's desk. Using this camera it can track the direction in which the user is looking. It will then identify if this direction is sensible, e.g. during study hours the user should be looking at their screen. If it decides that the user has not been doing their work for quite a while it can then alert the user. This alert could be a push notification on their laptop/smartphone, or just a simple noise coming from the machine itself.
This device should know at which moments the user should be studying/working. It can check when the user is occupied using their agenda. It will automatically calculate preparation/traveling time based on your location and destination and will sound an alarm when you should leave the house. It will take into account whether it is a weekend or not. Based on this data it should be able to plan in study/work time. It should also take into account that the user has a certain sleep cycle, which it should be able to derive from long-time usage.
As an addition to the facial recognition function and the planning update, the device can track for how long the user can focus on their work without taking a break. It will then learn from this and at some point start scheduling breaks when and for how long it sees fit.
Heart rate monitor
It should be possible to connect the information gathered from a heart rate monitor, like one found on a smartwatch, to the device. The device can then offer a better planning based on your heart rate. For example, by recommending a break when you get tired or very active, so that you can relax on the couch or go for a walk outside. Based on your heart rate, the device can also plan your sleep time more accurately.
This device can check through the agenda at what time the user has to get up. A short while before, it can start turning on the lights slowly so that the user will wake up in a more natural way compared to an alarm clock. This could increase productivity during the day by reducing sleep inertia
Give the user even more possibilities to change settings. For instance, change the sound of the alarm, change the colors for different tasks, dark mode, etc.
State of the Art
- Bahsi et al
This article reports a survey study that was held at the medical faculty of the Gaziantep University school of Medics. The survey considered 11 open-ended demographical questions and 29 Likert-scaled questions about the study environment, attention spans and motivation levels during study and study methods. The researchers used this data to find out how to increase the Grade Point Average (GPA). They concluded that is good to inform students about factors that can influence attention spans and motivation, identifying good learning strategies is beneficial for students and a good place to study is essential.
- Bunce et al
In this study, the researchers investigated how much attention students of chemistry classes could maintain during their lectures. They noted at the start that there were two types of interactivity in a lecture. The first type were quizzes that involved the use of a clicker. This allowed students to answer multiple choice questions on the smartboard and the teacher could show how the students did on these questions immediately. A second way was by doing demonstrations of the phenomena they explained. The study, however, only focused on the first part.
This study asked students to report lapses of attention through their clickers. Before this study, the researchers expected that students would be able to stay focused for 10 – 20 minutes at a time, disregarding the first and last 5 minutes of lecture, where no student would be active. However, they found that students continuously alternate between being engaged or disengaged during a lecture for periods as short as 1-2 minutes. The suspicion that students are more engaged during interactive parts of the lecture was still confirmed.
The researchers advise teachers to use interactive ways of teaching and include multiple student-centered pedagogies in their lessons.
- Saalmann et al
In this article, attention is defined as a mechanism that is used to select relevant information from the environment. The authors state that this is a top-down process. There is evidence that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is a brain area that is heavily involved in attention. This area is part of a dorsal stream and thus mainly considers spatial information. These two statements are backed by studies with monkeys. In an experiment where monkeys had to respond to certain stimuli, the response times of the monkeys who had to respond to ‘spatial’ or ‘spatial and featural’ stimuli responded significantly faster compared to monkeys in a ‘neutral’ condition. These experiments tested the response of the medial temporal (MT response) lobes, but found that the MT response got feedback from the lateral intraparietal area (LIP). This was evidence for the top-down feedback.
From these experiments, they concluded that attention is gained quicker if stimuli were within the visual field and if a preceding stimulus was presented within the visual field as well.
- Buckley et al
The gamification of the learning process shows to have a positive effect on the learning experience. While playing people will be more engaged with the material and be more productive. This helps the student to be more motivated to study. However, this effect is mainly visible in students that are naturally keen on learning / are willing to learn. Students who do not like to learn will have different results. However, the method looks promising.
- Seifert et al
A student's motivation can be based on multiple variables, for instance: religion, parents, self-efficacy, self-worth and willingness to achieve certain goals among other things. A student’s motivation will have an influence on the way he or she will learn. It will have an effect on the behavior of things like the pursuit of mastery, failure avoidance, learned helplessness, and passive aggression. Students prefer their work to be meaningful and they like to have control and autonomy during their study. However in the end it all comes down to the personal emotions and beliefs of each student to really get a feel for their individual motivation.
- Ames et al
This article shows the importance of a good working environment and what kind of effects this can have on the learning behavior and motivation of the students.
- Zheng et al
- Iriarte et al
This paper shows the benefit of using a VR “game” to perform tests on students with a disorder, like ADHD. Since it helps them to focus better on the different tasks than if they would have done them with paper and pencil. While the test in the paper is focused on a younger audience, 6 to 16 years, it could give an indication for (young) adults as well. There also seems to be a difference in performance when looking at the different genders. The main takeaway message is that VR can be used to help students with a (learning) disorder to focus better by removing distractors for instance.
- van Gog et al
Eye tracking can be used as an input but also to measure the effect of various learning processes which make use of visual attention cues. Eye-tracking can provide more information on the split-attention effect, modality effect, redundancy effect, goal-specificity effect. The information gathered can be used to optimize learning strategies or layouts.
- Vandewalle et al
According to this article wavelength, duration, and intensity of light exposure modulates brain responses. Immediately after light exposure, you can observe physiology, for example, heart rate, sleep propensity, alertness, and body temperature. The non-visual responses are maximally for blue light (480nm) while the spectral sensitivity of classical photoreceptors is maximal for green light (550nm).
Also, cognition is affected by light in which we are interested the most. Because this includes attention, executive functions, and memory. These cognitive performances decline during the biological night and progressively improve during the biological day. The light could affect cognitive performance through its synchronizing/phase-shifting effects on the circadian clock. Also with light exposure, cognitive performance can be increased acutely.
From the article, we can conclude that exposure to blue light gives the highest brain-responses ranging from a few seconds to about 20 minutes.
- Selvaraj et al
According to this article students are very fond of using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (based on the social media form 2013). The colleges are now pushing the classroom through social networks. Also, most of the information on social networks is fake or half-truth which could be a problem for students. Also, the students become addicted to social networks, which also means that their real-life friends become less in numbers while the digital friends become more and more. Too much of anything is good for nothing.
- Perrin et al
From this article, we can conclude that social media usage has increased very much between 2005 and 2015. From which we can only imagine that the trend continued to 2021. So the usage of social media is enormous. Young adults between 18 and 29 years are most likely to use social media 90% of this group uses social media.
- Küller et al
Humans have a circadian rhythm from approximately 24 hours, including being awake and asleep. This process is regulated by neural and hormonal processes. This process is being synchronized by the solar night and day. When far from the equator this internal clock can be disrupted by the short days and long nights (for half a year) which results in fatigue, sadness, and sleep problems. When you are indoors for a long time indoors during the day, windows are very important. Dark environments can have a negative effect on well-being and work capacity.
All types of light within the visual range can have an influence on the biological clock. Bright is more effective than dim light and white or daylight more effective than colored light(possible with some exceptions).
- Ogbodo et al
In this paper, good study habits are discussed. The most important conclusion from this paper is that to form effective study habits you should have good counseling. They help you with a proper study schedule. They also note that a study should be divided into three periods where the subjects should be divided into relative importance. Also, a good schedule is very important in maintaining a good study schedule. And one point they note is: Do you have enough light in your study place?
- Ezemenaka et al
The author states that students have been more and more distracted since the introduction of the smartphone and that academic performance has become lower. They state, however, that there is no evidence linking the one to the other yet. The goal of their research is to find this link, if it exists. A survey-study was used to find out how many students used smartphones, what they used them for and whether they thought that it had an influence on their academic performance. The outcome of this study was that there was no significant relation detected between the use of a smartphone and academic performance.
- Raviv et al
It has been speculated a lot of times that students’ concentration decreases by a lot after physical exercise. They should be highly aroused, which leads a decrease in their concentration. This study found three things. Firstly, there does not seem to be a difference in concentration between physical or science classes. Secondly, concentration levels are very low at the beginning of a (science) class and higher near the end, but not so much to say that there is a significant effect. Thirdly, the concentration levels of all students are generally higher in the morning than they are in the afternoon. This means that the study found that concentration levels depend more on time than on the nature of the class.
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- Richardson, T., Elliott, P., & Roberts, R. (2017). Relationship between loneliness and mental health in students. Journal of Public Mental Health, 16(2), 48–54. https://doi.org/10.1108/jpmh-03-2016-0013
- Burns, D., Dagnall, N., & Holt, M. (2020). Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Student Wellbeing at Universities in the United Kingdom: A Conceptual Analysis. Frontiers in Education, 5, 204. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.582882
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|Ilana van den Akkerveken||11||group meetings 4h, literature study 6h, problem statement 1h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||10||group meetings 4h, literature study 4.5h, updating wiki 1.5h|
|Joep Obers||11||group meetings 4h, literature study 7.5h|
|Jens Reijnen||10.5||group meetings 4h, literature study 6h, approach milestones deliverables 0.5h|
|Wouter de Vries||9.5||group meetings 4h, programming research 2h, literature study 3.5h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||6.5||group meetings 3h, brainstorming for project ideas 2.5h, research in student well-being 1h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||6||group meetings 3h, brainstorming for project ideas 3h|
|Joep Obers||6||group meetings 3h, brainstorming for project ideas 3h|
|Jens Reijnen||6.5||group meetings 3h, brainstorming for project ideas 3.5h|
|Wouter de Vries||5.5||group meetings 3h, brainstorming for project ideas 2.5h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||6.5||group meetings 3h, creating online survey 3.5h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||7.5||group meetings 3h, list of materials 2.5h, meeting Joep & Wouter 2h|
|Joep Obers||6.5||group meetings 3h. sketching 1.5h, meeting Erick & Wouter 2h|
|Jens Reijnen||6.5||group meetings 3h, creating online survey 3.5h|
|Wouter de Vries||7.5||group meetings 3h, meeting Joep & Erick 2h, mailing to check availability of parts 1h, research on materials 1.5h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||11||group meetings 3h, finishing survey 2.5h, converting and analyzing survey data 4h, wiki updating and inserting pie-charts 1.5h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||9||group meetings 3h, research into plotting different clocks with python 2.5h, adapting clock and implementation 2.5h, bug fixes 1h|
|Joep Obers||13.5||group meetings 3h, updating wiki and write first sketch 2.5h, setting up raspberry pi 4h, setting up virtual keyboard 2h, making holder for screen of rpi 1h, writing status of prototype 1h|
|Jens Reijnen||10.5||group meetings 3h, finishing survey 2.5h, overlooking results and and responses 1h, converting and analyzing survey data 4h|
|Wouter de Vries||9.5||group meetings 3h, setting up raspberry pi 4h, working on google calendar API 2.5h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||9||group meetings 2.5h, research on similar projects 3h, Use analysis, effects of lighting and deliverables 3.5h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||9||group meetings 2.5h, setting up up-dated version of python and changing settings on raspberry pi 2h, updated the clock to look good on the raspberry pi and functional 2.5h, moving clock and adding legenda 2h|
|Joep Obers||10||group meetings 2.5h, setting up up-dated version of python and changing settings on raspberry pi 1.5h, work on retrieval code 4.5h, finish agenda retrieval code 1.5h|
|Jens Reijnen||10.5||group meetings 2.5h, milestones updating 1h, update references section 1h, research into similar projects 3h, research on references and citations on wiki 1h, rewrite wiki, update figure captions references etc 2h|
|Wouter de Vries||13||group meetings 2.5h, working on google calendar API 2h, begin of redoing technical requirements 1h, working on retrieval code 2h, research agenda retrieval code 1h, finish agenda retrieval code 1.5h, redone technical requirements 1.5h, start programming dateTime 1.5h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||11.5||Group meetings 5.5h, redoing logbook splitting up the weeks for better overview 2h, research into hue colour temperatures 2.5h, editing effects of lighting 1.5h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||12||Group meetings 5.5h, getting philips hue connected to rpi 4.5h, adding alarm function & fixing bugs 2h|
|Joep Obers||13.5||Group meetings 5.5h, getting philips hue connected to rpi 4.5h, Combining codes 3.5h|
|Jens Reijnen||14.5||Group meetings 5.5h, update requirements 2.5h, further research on the implications of studying/working from home during pandemic 2h, write section about future development 2h,update wiki and include references in text 2.5h|
|Wouter de Vries||5.5||Group meetings 5.5h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||Group meetings 3h, making presentation 2.5h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||12.5||Group meetings 3h (including overall code implementation), Fixing code 1h, digital clock face 6h, preparation presentation 2.5 hours|
|Joep Obers||17.5||Group meetings 3h (including overall code implementation), Fixing code 6h, shooting video 3h, editing video 2.5 hours, preparing presentation 3 hours|
|Jens Reijnen||4||Group meetings 1h, update 'other projects' section 0.5h, prepare for presentation 2.5h|
|Wouter de Vries||Group meetings 3h (including overall code implementation)|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||Presentation 2h, group meeting 1h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||Presentation 2h, group meeting 1h, commenting and cleaning up code 1h, writing 'alarm, future developments, prototype' 3h|
|Joep Obers||Presentation 2h, group meeting 1h, setting up the user test 3.5h, writing 'Setting up the test' 0.5h, writing 'philips hue' 1h|
|Jens Reijnen||Presentation 2h, group meeting 1h, writing survey results/conclusion 3h|
|Wouter de Vries||Presentation 2h, group meeting 1h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||group meeting 1h|
|Erick Hoogstrate||group meeting 1h|
|Joep Obers||group meeting 1h, collecting data and retrieve prototype 3h, writing 'results' 1h|
|Jens Reijnen||group meeting 1h|
|Wouter de Vries||group meeting 1h|
|Ilana van den Akkerveken||55.5|
|Wouter de Vries||50.5|