Crit #3 – Multiple Timers

Image result for kitchen timer

Problem: When in the kitchen and cooking a big meal (say, Thanksgiving dinner), I often have multiple timers going.  Between the microwave, my phone, my roommate’s Google assistant, etc., they can be hard to manage, especially when many timers are physically locked to their positions on the appliances.  This can be an issue for not only those with low mobility, but because each timer is often on a different type of interface (touch screen, keypad, twist timer), it can affect those with low dexterity as well.  Timers should be manageable and adaptable to user needs.

Solution: I want to solve the problem in two ways: by combining the timers into one place, and making input methods modular such that users can select the input that works for them e.g. lever, button pad, knob, etc.  The user should be able to easily discern which of their set timers is going off even though they are all now co-located, though, and this is done by unique audio cues for each.  They should also be able to know which timer they have shut off, and which are still going, based on sound.

Proof of Concept: My proof of concept is a system of 3 timers with one on/off button, one knob to set time, and one knob to select a timer.  Each of the timers can be set and turned off independently.  When one timer is going off, it adds to a melody that plays all of the currently on timers’ contributions.  Each timer has a distinct sound.  Users can also turn off all timers with a more complex input so as to not accidentally do it.  Ideally, I would extend this system with a more modular input method.  I want to include keypad entry like on microwaves, an easier slider input for those who cannot twist knobs or input on small keys, and ideally even voice input.  The customizability of this is not shown in the proof of concept, but the code framework can certainly support it.

Files + Code + Video


Hi, I'm Chance, a graduate ETC student who makes the trek up to main campus for this class. I have a background in woodworking, computer science and engineering, though my circuit and EE knowledge is a bit rusty. Looking forward to challenging myself in this class!

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