Facebook PixelA programmable sensor that reminds you to not make things harder on yourself and others
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A programmable sensor that reminds you to not make things harder on yourself and others

Image credit: Cosmonic

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 26, 2022
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A programmable sensor/device that waits for people to do something wrong and then reminds them to fix it.
The same device could be programmed to:
  • remind your kids to flush the toilet, don't leave shoes lying around, etc
  • remind you not to leave the milk out of the fridge for too long
  • put your keys where they should be so that you find them on the way out
  • watch for any trigger event and notify you if the expectation is different from reality.
  • Help instill good habits in yourself and others.
  • Keep your environment the way you want it.
  • Help forgetful people cause less trouble.
How it works
A device that monitors it's surrounding and operates by the following logic
  1. Wait for a trigger event (what needs to happen for the device to activate)
  2. Once activated, start the timer (how much time do people have to do the right thing before the device reminds them)
  3. Know the right/wrong state of things (how things should or shouldn't be after the timer countdown is over)
  4. If things are not right after the timer countdown has passed, activate the reminder.
People program the device via an app. It uses a scripting language that is easy to grasp by novices.
Nested triggers
An ability to add multiple sub-triggers and program more sophisticated reminders. For example: first, the kid needs to sit on the toilet and remain there for X seconds (trigger 1 complete). Then the kid needs to get up from the toilet (trigger 2 complete). Only then does the timer start running. If a flushing sound is not heard within Y seconds, sound the reminder "someone forgot to flush the toilet".
Nested timers
A person needs to sit on the toilet for X seconds before the device activates.
Once the person gets out of the toilet, another timer runs to give them enough time to do the right thing without a reminder.
Right/wrong states
The device is equipped with high quality cameras, microphones and multiple ports for additional modules (IR, temperature, laser, whatever).
You can choose to define either the wrong or the right state (whichever is easier to demonstrate). The software will then compare the current state against the right/wrong state to determine if a reminder needs to be sounded. If the current state is equal to the right state, don't sound the reminder. Otherwise do.
Example: A bottle of milk visible to the camera = wrong state. If milk has been visible for more than X minutes it means that someone left it out of the fridge to spoil. A reminder is necessary.
Creative contributions

Less anger on others

Povilas S
Povilas S Jan 26, 2022
I think the main benefit of such a device is that it would take off the responsibility from people to remind other people to behave correctly (the device will do it for them). And even more importantly, those who are reminded to behave correctly wouldn't be able to project their anger directly on a person who's telling them what to do (they could project it on the device, but this would lessen tensions between people living in the same household or having other circumstantial obligations to each other).
However, unless the person programmed the device him/herself to change their own habits, they might still feel that the device is a henchman used to control their behavior in the manner that others expect them to.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
True. This is the original motivation behind the idea.
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Gamify chores

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Jan 28, 2022
This could be a great way to get kids to do chores.
What if the device could keep track of the number of those tasks the kid did on their own without being told to and at the end of the month provide a sort of tally. It could be in form of stars or points as long as it gives a metric of performance. If the child reaches a pre-agreed threshold of points, a reward is provided.
  1. Takes some weight off your back since the children too have an incentive to contribute without you having to make them.
  2. Is an aid to parenting, Cultivates work ethic in growing children.
  3. Good habits formed really early on in life become permanent as the child keeps growing up and at a certain point these habits just become second nature to them.
  4. Better living enviroments make for improved well being.
Getting kids to clean up after themselves can get really frustrating. Reminders to put their toys away, take dishes to the sink once they're done eating, Put shoes in the rack , clothes in the laundry basket and lock the door once they exit are repeated so many times in a day, enought to drive anyone crazy. This could fix that.
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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
This is just to suggest a simpler design for the toilet-flush system. A heat sensor detects a person sitting on the toilet and activates the first trigger. The flush button is the second trigger. Button pressed = right thing; not pressed = either blinking light or sound to remind of flushing or simply noting it down (by the software) and mentioning it during the monthly review and tally.
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