Topic: Dynamic Alarm Clock

I heard about the Chumby today and was hoping that it would include a feature I've always wanted in an alarm clock. I haven't seen anything on this site that describes this feature. But, if the Chumby implemented this, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

I would love a clock that wakes me up based on current information, especially transit or traffic info. Let's say that I need to wake up at 7am to get to school/work by 8am on a normal day. However, if there is a power outage on my subway line causing delays of 30+ minutes throughout the system, I would either have to rush any sort of morning routine (shower/breakfast/etc) or be 30 minutes late. I would like an alarm clock to use real-time information to wake me up at a different time. If there are reports of 30 minute delays on my commute, I would like the clock to wake me up 30 minutes early and display the reason for the delay.

Example 1:
There is a 30 car pile-up at 6am on the freeway I use to get to work, rendering that route unusable for the rest of the morning. The clock, using Google Maps or something similar, maps the next fastest route to work, but that route requires 10 minutes more than my normal route on a normal day. So, the clock wakes me up 10 minutes earlier than I set, displays a warning about the traffic report, and shows me the suggested reroute.

Example 2:
When I was in high school, I set the alarm to wake me up at 7am every day so I can get to school at 8am. If school is canceled due to a snow day, I'd like the alarm to wake me up later (or not at all).

I'm sure people could come up with tons of other uses for an alarm that uses real-time data to set the time that it wakes the user up.

Re: Dynamic Alarm Clock

Ha, it sounds a bit sophisticated, but not ridiculous.   

At the very least there could be something that adjusts the alarm by set amounts of time that you want based on certain events.   Such as if it is snowing heavily, you might want to wake up 45 minutes early to shovel your way out.   Or if its raining - maybe 15 minutes early to account for the traffic.   The snow thing always kills me.

Re: Dynamic Alarm Clock

The biggest problem is going to be obtaining reliable information for adjusting the time.  Traffic and school closing data especially.

I'd wonder about using a combination of a widget and an alarm event.  Have the chumby switch to a special channel at a certain time.  Then have one widget on that channel that had the ability to use "something else" to determine suitability for alarm-like conditions.  As in, create a script that did some sort of fancy scraping to determine the traffic/closing conditions.  Then have the widget read the results of that script in order to make it's alarm determination.  It's possible the script could run on the chumby itself, or perhaps on another computer that has a webserver running on it.  That way whatever limitations that might exist on the chumby wouldn't prevent the script from being able to do it's work.  That'd let the widget on the chumby be fairly simple.

Bear in mind the hardest part of setting up things like this is the user interface.  It'd get pretty hairy trying to set all this up from a touchscreen.  Thus using an external webserver for a go/no-go query would be a lot simpler.

Re: Dynamic Alarm Clock

There are Control Panel Events that can be used to fire off an alarm from an external event - the trick then is to build a script that does the checking for the circumstance under which the alarms is intended to fire, then issue the event.