Alert Tube Monitors All Aspects Of Your Digital Life


This futuristic appliance can keep you apprised of all you social network goings on and much more. [Mike Watson] calls the device the Alert Tube because of its functionality and shape. The hardware depends primarily on a Raspberry Pi board which seems tailor-made for this type of use. The information gathering side of this shows off the power of a fledgling services called If This Then That.

We’ve heard of IFTTT only because [Chris Gammel] and [Dave Jones] covered it on an episode of The Amp Hour. [Dave] dismissed it as have little to no practical use. But this project shows how it can be leveraged to make quick work of pulling your desired data from the Internet. Think of it as a collection of APIs for many sites like Twitter, Facebook, as well as local weather, etc. This project sets up IFTTT to monitor your accounts, alerting you with colors of like, sound, and even text-to-speech.

The project explanation is several pages long but you can get a quick look at it by watching the demo video.

13 thoughts on “Alert Tube Monitors All Aspects Of Your Digital Life

  1. Nice work, but……

    My smartphone does all that an more, and has a UI that’s not some hodgepodge of chromatic morse code. Seems like a bunch of people are just hellbent at duplicating part (and only part) of what a smartphone already does, and does much better.

    1. Agree, but part of raspi’s allure is just the process of figuring out things work. Recreating something from scratch increases your knowledge and skillsets to creatively develop new projects moving forward.

    2. Gotta agree with you. Don’t see why folks seem enamored of such incredibly limited interfaces. And for nearly $150 in parts costs? No thanks. There’s really no excuse not to use, or use something that already has, a proper display these days; even for an “appliance”.

      1. It’ll start a conversation all right. “What is that?” Followed, most likely, by the person soon wishing they hadn’t asked; as you proudly go into describing what [vonskippy] aptly described as the chromatic morse code part of your creation. And them taking mental note to avoid starting a similar conversation about anything else unusual they might see.

        Sorry, but that’s how it usually goes in my experience; and so I don’t buy the “conversation piece” argument. Good conversation pieces don’t require technical explanations or memorization to understand them.

        1. See I am not arrogant with the people I start conversations with, most likely it would be a short exchange consisting of “whats that” “It gives me weather alerts” “why is it blinking” “That’s how it alerts me”

  2. Has anyone figured out how to get rid of that terrible Raspi audio thumb every time it outputs anything out of the audio jack? You can hear it every time before and after the Raspi needs to output audio.

  3. I’ve built a small notifier with an bluetooth module and Android notifier on my phone. It was just a large LED blinking when I got notifications, mostly because my phone had a small LED. It soon got replaced with an app that blinks the screen.

    Another time i made a single RGB LED display for my weather station. Color tell the temp, blink mode tells the conditions.
    Turns out, I still prefer a large display with lots of info, you can be surprised about what you can learn from a display with 1-2 seconds of reading it: weater, important notifications, important emails, status of server etc.
    There’s no point in taking out the information. Why would you want to have a device that blinks an LED telling you almost nothing so that then you have to check another device with all the info? Just use a cheap/old tablet/bookreader to display full information. (learned from experience).

    Also, I feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable to give some other people/app all those access privileges to so many accounts.

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