Physical email notification


One day computers will exist in every part of our lives. You’ll be standing in the shower, lathering up  when Chantal, your holographic computer controlled AI partner, informs you in a cool voice you have a new email. How splendid, it must be the office letting you know there is no work today! “Anything else?” You ask; “Negative” her electronically synthesized voice responds.

Over at TINYenormous they’ve made this dream come true – minus the holographic computer controlled AI partner bit. Rather its simply a physical email notification system consisting of an LED and Arduino with some python code. We like the concept but prefer our Google Desktop with Gmail setup instead. Perhaps by using a small wireless server and rechargeable batteries, it could make a great dinner table centerpiece notifying you of the latest email. How simple, or how complicated would you make a setup?

[Thanks Madmaze]


Rob created a very nice USB version.

Dan made a wireless version from XBee modules and includes an LCD.

J4mie is the original inspiration for the project.

Have your own notification system? Tell us in the comments, And we’ll place it here!

60 thoughts on “Physical email notification

  1. I have Asus Xonar D2X, and i use only the analog inputs and outputs, so i have free S/PDIF i/o ports, and optical cable.

    My gmail notifier is a simple bash script, who turn on the S/PDIF port.

    mails=”$(wget –secure-protocol=TLSv1 –timeout=3 -t 1 -q -O – \
    https://${gmail_login}:${gmail_password} \
    –no-check-certificate | grep ‘fullcount’ \
    | sed -e ‘s/.*//;s/.*//’ 2>/dev/null)”
    if [ “$mails” -gt “0” ];
    amixer set ‘IEC958 Loopback’ unmute;
    amixer set ‘IEC958 Loopback’ mute;

  2. i’m with sam on this. while i might bee pretty handy with the hardware side of things, i just started learning how to program, and i haven’t gotten beyond an arduino yet. so what if this is just an led? the point is this guy interfaced his arduino with his email. it’s posts like this that inspire me to step outside my comfort zone and try new things.
    oh, and for those who gripe every time an arduino post appears, if a HaD post is too simple for you, just ignore it. i do the same for ones that are way above my head. deal with it.

  3. I notice every time a simple project comes along that everyone complains about how it’s complexity. Use your imagination, add more to this. Make a mouse-trap project out of this. The key is this gives you the foundation to allow you to do many other things. Especially giving you a good reason to learn python. Give yourself a chance to realize that by dissing simple projects, you demonstrate a lack of ingenuity in creating more complex projects from simple ones.

  4. In December 2008, my boss had made a USB based device for this same purpose, he used RGBY LEDs inside a pingpong ball (to act as a projection screen) and added a PWM circuit to generate a sequence of colors based on who had sent an email.: No email was dark, Jane was green, Joe was blue, Dave was red, and anyone in Sales was green.

    Hey, Jack…. if you are out there, they stole your idea!

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